My Favourite Heroes: Batman: Part 2: The History of Batman

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Batman has a long and varied history spread out across multiple different mediums and universes. There has never been just one Batman per se, even within the continuity of DC. He’s been rebooted, (both in and out of universe) killed off, replaced with alternate counterparts, as well as his children and even in one instance his deceased father.

Across his many iterations, the Batman has been everything from a gritty crime fighter, to a gothic anti hero, to a sci fi superhero, to a loving father.

Both in universe and from a real world perspective the history of the Caped Crusader is a fascinating and somewhat tragic story. Whilst the modern image of Batman may be one of the most beloved fictional characters, that image was the work of many great artists and writers over the course of several decades, many of whom’s contributions have sadly been overlooked.

Creation and Controversy

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Bob Kane with Bill Fingers Batman.

For decades the official story about Batman’s origins was that he was created by cartoonist Bob Kane in 1939 for National Comics (later known as DC.) Kane was the only person ever to be credited on any form of Batman media for the first 70 or so years of the characters history. In the majority of interviews throughout his life, Kane would only ever credit himself with creating Batman and his supporting characters and enemies like the Joker and Catwoman.

In recent decades however it has been revealed that writer Bill Finger contributed far more to the Batman character and mythos than Kane ever did.

Kane came up with the name Batman, but his initial sketch bore little resemblance to the Batman we know today. Kane’s Batman had no cape, a dominos mask and dressed in red.

See here.

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It was Bill Finger who not only came up with the Caped Crusaders look, but much of his character too. Finger suggested that Kane give Batman a cowl with bat ears, that he change the wings to a cape, and that he make Batman’s eyes white to suggest an air of mystery. He also suggested giving the Batman a grey and black colour scheme too.

Finger also came up with Gotham city, Commisioner Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth and the Batman’s civilian identity of the billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. (He apparently named Bruce Wayne after the famous Scottish king Robert the Bruce.) Finger also came up with Batman’s tragic origins of being motivated to fight crime by the death of his parents.

Finger also created, or co-created most of Batman’s famous enemies including the Joker, Catwoman, the Riddler, the Scarecrow and the Penguin. Other artists and writers also contributed to the creation of many of Batman’s iconic rogues and supporting characters too, such as Jerry Robinson, Dick Sprang and Gardner Fox.

In all fairness to Kane back in the 40s the standard policy was for one person’s name to be stamped on the cover. The likes of Finger and Robinson were also hired as ghost artists and writers too. It wouldn’t be until the 60s when Marvel pioneered crediting all involved in the comic, with the famous Marvel bull pen.

Disputes over who created an iconic character are also common in the comic book and television mediums, where unlike a novel several people are always involved in a characters creation.

Stan Lee though pioneering the bull pen method, still always argued that he was the sole creator of the likes of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, as he came up with the initial concepts for all characters.

The difference between Lee and Kane however, was that Lee always credited the likes of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko with designing the characters, and always said that the characters would not have been successful without the artists contributions. Lee was also always happy for his artists to refer to themselves as co-creators too.

Kane however not only took credit for things we now know he didn’t do, like Batman’s final design, but he also tried to silence Bill Fingers claims to helping create the Batman.

In the 1960s when Bill Finger mentioned his contributions to the Batman character at one of the first comic conventions, Bob Kane was quick to discredit him in a Batman fan magazine.

See here.

Now, Biljo, I’d like to emphatically set the record straight, once and for all, about the many “myths” and “conjectures” that I read about myself and my creation, “Batman,” in your “Fanzine” and other publications. I can only call all the stories I read about myself “conjectures,” because most of them are written without my advice or consent, and, therefore, cannot be entirely the truth, because how can an article about me or the Batman be the true story, when I am not consulted or interviewed?

Here, for the first time, straight from the “horse’s mouth” is the real inside story about myself and “Batman,” with no holds barred, and I intend to explode the myths about myself and get down to the real truth about the legend that is “Batman,” so, fasten your seat belts, Batmanians, as the fireworks begin.

We can call this story, “Inside Bob Kane,” or will the real creator of “Batman” sign in, please!

The Myth: Bob Kane is not the sole creator of “Batman.” (I’ve heard this a thousand times in my lifetime), that “Batman” was really created by Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, Carmine Infantino, Jack Schiff, Julie Schwartz, my publisher, etc., etc., and my housekeeper!

The Truth: All hogwash! I, Bob Kane, am the sole creator of “Batman.” I created “Batman” in 1939, and it appeared, if memory serves me correctly, in Detective Comics as a six or eight page story, and I signed the first strip, “Robert Kane.”

I read your article that you sent to me, “If the Truth be Known,” ”A Finger in Every Plot,” and it seemed to me that Bill Finger has given out the impression that he and not myself created the ”Batman”,  as well as Robin and all the other leading villains and characters. This statement is fraudulent and entirely untrue. That is ”myth” and I quote an excerpt from the article written by Jerry G. Bails, “The Cowl and Cape, the utility belt and gauntlets were all Bill’s contribution.”

Also, further down in the article and again I quote , “Bill also created Robin, of course, but also Commissioner Gordon, (who appeared in the first Batman story), Alfred the Penguin, The Catwoman, etc., etc.

I challenge Bill to repeat those statements in front of me. I am sorry that I was absent from the comicdom’s convention so that I could have answered him. The truth is that Bill Finger is taking credit for much more than he deserves, and I refute much of his statements here in print The fact is that I conceived the ”Batman`’ figure and costume entirely by myself’ even before I called Bill in to help me write the “Batman.” I created the title, masthead, the format and concept, as well as the Batman figure and costume. Robin, the boy wonder, was also my idea, . . . not Bill’s.

The only proof I need to back my statement is that if Bill co-authored and conceived the idea, either with me or before me, then he would most certainly have a by-line on the strip along with my name, the same as Siegel and Schuster had as creators of Superman. However, it remains obvious that my name appears on the strip alone, proving that I created the idea first and then called Bill in later, after my publisher okayed my original creation.

Now, Biljo, in all fairness to Bill, I will admit he was influential in aiding me in shaping up the strip, and there are certain characters Bill created, aside from my main characters’ and many other characters that I created, including the Batmobile. It’s been 25 years now, and truthfully, time sometimes blurs the memory and it is difficult to separate, at times, the myth from the truth, so that I cannot blame Bill too much if at times his memory “clouds.”

Aside to Jerry G. Bails: I ought to sue you for misrepresentation and distortion of the truth about your “Finger Article” that blatantly intimates that Bill Finger was the true creator behind Batman, and not Bob Kane. Your article is completely misleading, loaded with untruths fed to you by Finger’s hallucinations of grandeur.

May I say to you, Mr . Bails, that before you wrote so smugly and assuredly about Bill Finger being the real creator and ”tour de force” behind the Batman for publication, don’t you think that you should have double-checked your information back to me, so that I could verify and clarify Bill Finger’s comments? After all, I was involved with the Batman, don’t you think? But, of course, you minimized my part in the creation and maximized Bill Finger’s part, only because you listened to one side of the story – Finger’ s side. I am sure that you have heard that there are “two sides to every story”? At any rate, now you’ve heard my side. Are you still convinced about Finger’s immortality?

I am sick and tired of opinionated people, like yourself, who throughout the years have written distorted and untrue stories about how Batman was created and by whom, receiving their information from unreliable sources, when it would have been much easier to get the true story simply by contacting me, the one and only creator of Batman, that could be proven so easily by merely asking my publisher or simply by looking at the lone by-line of “Bob Kane” on the strip.

I’d also like to state here, Mr. Bails, that although Bill Finger literally typed the scripts in the early days, that he wrote the scripts from ideas that we mutually collaborated on and that many of the unique concepts and story twists also came from my own fertile imagination and that I was not just a puppet cartoonist alone, following a writer’s script and contributing nothing more than the art work.

Finger never received the credit he was due during his lifetime as a result, and died in both obscurity and poverty in the 1970s. Contrary to popular belief he was not buried in an unmarked potters grave. He was cremated, with his only son Fred Finger scattering his ashes in the shape of a Bat on a beach in Oregon, as per his wishes.

Bob Kane would later express regret for the way he had treated Bill Finger. In 1989 after the release of the first Batman film starring Michael Keaton, Kane said.

In those days it was one artist and he had his name over it [the comic strip] — the policy of DC in the comic books was, if you can’t write it, obtain other writers, but their names would never appear on the comic book in the finished version. So Bill never asked me for it [the byline] and I never volunteered — I guess my ego at that time. And I felt badly, really, when he [Finger] died

Now that my long-time friend and collaborator is gone, I must admit that Bill never received the fame and recognition he deserved. He was an unsung hero … I often tell my wife, if I could go back fifteen years, before he died, I would like to say. ‘I’ll put your name on it now. You deserve it.

However many saw this as too little, too late, and argued that Kane was only recounting now that Finger had passed away and could not recieve any royalties. It would not be until 2015, following a campaign by author Marc Tyler Nobleman and Fingers grand daughter Athena, that Finger would be officially credited as the co-creator of Batman, beginning with the film Batman vs Superman and the television series Gotham.

Kane’s reputation has naturally dropped considerably as a result. Many others in the industry have come forward with less than favourable stories about Bob Kane in recent years, with arguably the most infamous being comic book author Jim Steranko’s near physical confrontation with Kane, who Steranko derided as both a coward, and back stabber who took advantage of Finger.

Its ironic in a way, as now I feel that people perhaps don’t give Kane the credit he deserves.

Kane did play a vital role in the creation of Batman and various other important characters in the Batman canon. One thing people often overlook about Kane’s initial drawing of Batman is that even there, the character lacks superpowers. Kane’s Batman couldn’t fly like Superman. He had artificial wings instead which he had designed to help him fly.

This would ultimately prove to be a vital component in Batman’s character, that he has to rely on gadgets rather than super powers and it was there in Kane’s initial concept.

Bob Kane also did play a role in the creation of the Joker, Catwoman, the Scarecrow and the Penguin too. Jerry Robinson, who spoke very unfavourably of Kane’s treatment of Bill Finger, (going as far as to say he never forgave him for it) nevertheless said that Kane can be considered a co-creator of the Joker. It is also known that Kane played a key role in fleshing out the Catwoman’s character. He apparently based much of Catwoman’s personality on his cousin Ruth Steel.

The real Catwoman.

Kane also created the final design for the Penguin and was the sole creator of Two Face, one of Batman’s most iconic foes. Finally it was also Kane who personally assembled the original team of artists and writers on the Batman comics, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson.

Had Kane not been so desperate to hoover up all the credit, he would be revered as the man who helped kick off, and flesh out the Batman mythos. The lesson here is to never try and take too much credit or else when the truth comes out, people will be loathe to give you any credit at all, as seen with Kane.

Whilst its tragic that Finger was never given the credit he was due, at the very least his reputation among fans and critics is considerably stronger today than Kane’s.

The Early Years

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Batman first appeared in Detective Comics 27. In his first few appearances Batman was depicted as being willing to murder his enemies and use guns. It was also a policy of earlier comics to make sure that none of Batman’s enemies would recur, so as not to undermine his status as a hero. Despite this however there were two recurring enemies in Batman’s earliest days with Detective Comics, The Mad Monk, a hypnotic Vampire, and Doctor Death, a mad scientist. Death’s origins of having his face scarred in an accident and developing a grudge against Batman as a result, would later be reused for the Joker.

Whilst Bruce Wayne was best friends with Commissioner James Gordon in the earlier stories, the police still viewed Batman as a dangerous psychopath who needed to be put down. Bruce Wayne also had a fiance too in the early years, Julie Madison, who has been seldom seen in most adaptations.

Whilst featuring many larger than life concepts from death rays, to robot Dinosaurs to Vampires, the earliest Batman comics still took the stories and character very seriously, and were very dark in tone.

During Batman’s first year with Detective Comics, several key elements of the Batman mythos would be established, such as the characters tragic origins in Detective Comics 33, his utility belt in issue 29, and his famous Batarang as well as the first ever Bat themed vehicle, the Bat plane in issue 31.

Finally in Detective Comics 38, Batman’s sidekick Robin was introduced. Created by Jerry Robinson, Robin, whose real name was Dick Grayson, was a young boy whose parents had been murdered just like Batman. Robin’s popularity would lead to a surge in similar kid sidekicks. Robin has remained a somewhat controversial figure in the decades since, with many feeling that he made Batman too light a character. Robin has nevertheless remained one of the most enduring icons of the Batman mythos.

Batman proved to be such a big hit that he would soon get his own series, whilst continuing to star in Detective Comics. The first ever solo issue of Batman saw the character face both the Joker and the Catwoman (then just referred to as simply the Cat.)

The Joker in his first appearance was depicted as a true monster clown, murdering his victims in gruesome ways simply because he thought it was funny. His origins were shrouded in complete mystery. Whilst more details have been revealed about the Jokers past in the ensuing decades, to this day the villains identity and real name have never been revealed.

From the start the Joker was depicted as Batman’s most dangerous and evil adversary, being ten steps ahead of the Batman and the police, and in a stark contrast to his later appearances; he was even depicted as being able to best the Caped Crusader in a fight.

Catwoman, whose real name was Selina Kyle, meanwhile was depicted initially as more of a manipulative villain who was no match for the Batman physically, and was far more unsympathetic than later depictions. From the start however the two were shown to have a romantic interest in one another, though this would become more prominent after Julie Madison was written out.

The Penguin meanwhile would be introduced in 1942. Though initially a more comical villain than the Joke, The Penguin would go on to be one of Batman’s most recognisable and recurring foes. Over the decades the Penguin’s character would be fleshed out more, and he would go from a campy supervillain obsessed with birds, to a gritty and brutal crime lord.

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The King and Queen of crime?!

The first appearances of the Penguin and the Catwoman, two of Batman’s main enemies. The papa spank line isn’t one of the Caped Crusaders finest moments.

Another major enemy of Batman introduced during the early years was Doctor Hugo Strange. Originally intended to be Batman’s archenemy, Strange was more of a match for Batman in terms of intellect than his other enemies, being a genius scientist in his own right. Ultimately however the more colourful Joker, Penguin and Catwoman would soon eclipse Strange, though Strange would continue to recur over the decades, and has even appeared in many adaptations such as the recent tv series Gotham.

The Joker was originally to have been killed off in his second appearance, but a last minute decision by editor Whitney Ellisworth ultimately spared the character, and the Joker would quickly cement himself as Batman’s arch foe, appearing in 6 out of the first 9 Batman issues.

The first appearance of what would quickly become Batman’s greatest enemy, the Joker.

Ellsworth would also make another major contribution to Batman’s character, deciding after an issue of Detective Comics which featured the caped crusader murdering mutated giants with a machine gun, that Batman would never use a gun or kill his enemies again.

This has gone on to be a vital aspect of Batman’s character ever since, not just in the comics, but in most other adaptations too. In universe the reason Batman hates guns it would be established is obviously because they were used in the brutal murder of his parents. Some versions of Batman however, such as Michael Keaton’s in the first two Burton Batman movies have returned to using weapons and lethal force, but generally speaking, most versions of Batman have stuck to Ellsworth’s policy.

In addition to starring in his own series and Detective Comics, Batman would go on to appear regularly in World’s Finest in 1940, a series which featured stories starring both Batman and Superman, DC’s other most popular character. It would not be until 1952 however that World’s Finest would bring both characters together in the same story. Batman and Superman would quickly be established as being best friends, and would remain so until the modern age, when the darker Batman’s methods often clashed with Superman.

Batman would also be established as an honorary member of the first ever superhero team, The Justice Society of America early into his career. First appearing in All Star Comics 3 in 1941, Batman and Superman however unlike with the later Justice League were not allowed to appear in with the Justice Society in a regular basis, as they already had their own titles, unlike most of the other members. Still one of the Justice Society’s base of operations was in Gotham City.

Batman would remain one of DC’s best selling characters throughout the 40s, though as the decade waned on, Batman would be made into a much lighter character, and more of a traditional father figure to Robin.

The End of the Original Batman

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From an in universe perspective the original Batman’s adventures would come to an end in the 50s. DC would later establish in the early 60s, that all of their stories from the 1930s to the mid 50s took place in another universe to those from the mid 50s to the then present.

The original 30s-50s stories took place on Earth 2, whilst the then modern stories from the mid 50s-present took place on Earth 1.

DC did this to explain away the major continuity issues that had emerged over the decades, chiefly concerning the Justice League and the Justice Society, which had each featured their own version of the Flash, Jay Garrick and Barry Allen, whilst Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman had been members of both teams. (Barry and Jay had been established as the only versions of the Flash in their own titles leading to some confusion.)

The multiverse idea was introduced in the story Flash of Two Earth’s which saw Barry Allen, the modern Flash travel to Earth Two where he met Jay Garrick the original Flash (who had visibly aged since we last saw him.)

The meant however that the then current Batman of the 60s was not the same character as the original from the 30s-mid 50s. It was never made clear when the adventures of the original Batman had come to an end, and the adventures of the new Batman began, as the multiverse was a retcon, but it would later be established in universe that the Earth Two Batman had retired at some point in the 50s.

The original Earth Two Batman’s final fate would be revealed in the late 70s. At some point in the mid 50s, Batman married a reformed Catwoman, and the two soon had a daughter, Helena Wayne. Years later however Catwoman would be blackmailed into carrying out another crime, and Batman would inadvertantly cause her death.

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The marriage of Batman and Catwoman.

Vowing to never don the cape and cowl again, Bruce was left a broken man by his wife’s death, but his daughter Helena Wayne would later become a masked crime fighter, The Huntress who would bring the criminal who had blackmailed her mother to justice.

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Helena Wayne vows to avenge her mothers death.

The Huntress would go on to become a popular character throughout the 70s, continuing her father’s legacy on Earth 2, joining the Justice Society, and later crossing over to Earth One where she’d work with its version of her father.

The Earth Two Bruce Wayne meanwhile despite his vow would later become Batman one last time to battle the Wizard, Frederick Faust which resulted in his death.

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Following Batman’s death ironically the Joker would take it hardest of all. Furious that he had beaten his long time enemy, simply by outliving him, the Joker refused to believe Batman was gone and would go on a massive rampage to try and draw The Batman out. An older Dick Grayson would be forced to pretend to be Batman in order to convince the Joker that his foe was still alive. Happy that Batman was not dead, the Joker willingly surrendered, and continued to plot his final duel with the Batman that would ultimately never come.

This classic scene from Batman the animated series where the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill) believes Batman has been killed and grieves, not over Batman, but simply of being deprived of his revenge; was inspired by the original Earth Two Joker’s reaction to his Batman’s death.

Whilst some critics felt the multiverse format was needlessly complicated, personally I think that it was a brilliant formula that ultimately allowed DC to finish their characters stories, whilst not having to stop producing Batman stories altogether. In contrast Marvel, whose characters all live in one floating timeline’s stories can never end, or even develop in any meaningful way that upsets the status quo. Take a look at Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s wedding for instance that had to be retconned in the most ridiculous way, to restore Spidey to being single. The original Batman and Catwoman’s marriage meanwhile remained final and even produced another superhero, the Huntress.

Personally I enjoy reading the earliest Batman comics knowing that he and Catwoman one day end up getting married, and that their legacy continues on through the Huntress, who is one of my favourite heroes.

Ultimately whatever your opinion on the multiverse, its important to remember that your Batman is NOT your grandfathers Batman. The Batman we read about in any story from his introduction to the mid 50s died decades ago, and has been replaced since by three alternate universe counterparts.

50s: Sci Fi Hijinks

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From a real world perspective the 50s would mark a radical change in Batman’s character. Batman had been completely watered down by this stage from his darker past into being a totally family friendly hero, but as the decade rolled on the character would be turned into more of a sci fi hero. The 50s would see Batman regularly travel to other worlds, travel through time, battle aliens, giant robots, and other atomic age monsters and strange creatures.

Sci Fi had been a vital component in Batman’s character from the very beginning. His gadgets and Batcave were often presented as being far in advance of contemporary technology. (One of the most famous and longstanding trophies in the Batcave is a gigantic robot Tyrannosaurus Rex.)

Added to that many of Batman’s most iconic enemies such as Doctor Hugo Strange were firmly rooted in sci fi too. The 50s however ultimately took it too far and had Batman spend more time in outerspace, or the future or on other worlds, than in Gotham.

As a result the 50s is often seen as a low point in the characters history. Nevertheless there would be a few important developments during this decade. The Jokers origins would be finally be revealed in the story The Man Behind The Red Hood.

Originally the Joker had been a criminal known as the Red Hood who planned to steal a million pounds and then retire, but during his final robbery of the Monarch Card company, Batman accidentally knocked the Red Hood into a vat of chemicals, which bleached his skin chalk white, dyed his hair green and distorted his mouth into a permanent hideous grin, driving him insane in the process

Whilst presented as a light hearted story at the time, this development ended up having major repurcussions on the Batman/Joker dynamic. Now Batman was made responsible for creating the Joker, and was therefore accountable for all of his crimes. By this stage however the Joker had been turned into more of a harmless prankster, carrying out wild, over the top schemes, but rarely ever killing anyone. It would not be until the 70s, when the Joker was restored to his old murderous persona that writers would explore the ramifications of Batman’s role in the Joker’s origin, as well as his role in the creation of his other major villains too.

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The 1950s also saw the introduction fo Mr Freeze, then referred to as Mr Zero. Freeze would go on to be one of Batman’s most famous foes in popular culture, thanks to his appearances in the 60s Adam West series and the 90s Batman the Animated series.

Justice League of America

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In 1960 Batman, along with Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Aquaman would form one of the first superhero teams, The Justice League in The Brave and the Bold issue 28.

Initially however Batman and Superman would be relegated to more minor roles in the strip with DC not wanting to overexpose their two most famous characters, though the two heroes did still go on several adventures with the league, and even played key roles in saving the day in some of the earlier strips. Eventually Batman and Superman would be allowed to play more major roles in the Justice League.

Batman despite having no superpowers of his own, would still be able to keep up with his allies in the league through his gadgets and fighting skills. (Batman had already been shown to tackle super powered and paranormal threats on his own, such as Manbat, and Mr Freeze.)

Batman would often end up being the key to many of the Justice League’s success’ as his scientific genius would enable him to disarm the villains weapons, or rewire their technology in a way that the other heroes couldn’t, whilst his deduction skills would often allow him to figure out the villains weaknesses, hideouts, or their plans when the other members of the League could not.

An example of Batman’s usefulness to the rest of the League despite his lack of powers.

In spite of this Batman’s history with the league has not always been smooth. In the 2000 miniseries, Towel of Bable, Batman’s archenemy, Ra’s Al Ghul steals files Batman as gathered on the rest of the League in case they ever went rogue and uses them to very nearly kill the League.

Though Ra’s plan is stopped, Batman is forced to leave the League afterwards, with Wonder Woman, Plastique Man and Aquaman being unable to trust Batman afterwards.

Batman has often clashed with other members of the League due to his secretive and somewhat paranoid personality. Still he has nevertheless always remained a prominent member of the team, and in many versions has even helped found the League.

The Bat-Family

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Towards the end of the 50s and the early 60s, two more sidekicks would be introduced for the Caped Crusader. Kathy Kane aka Batwoman, and her niece Bette Kane who became the first ever Batgirl. Both were introduced as love interests of Batman and Robin respectively. In addition to this Batman would also inherit a trusty hound known as Ace during this period, and another sidekick in the form of Batmite.

Batmite was an imp from the 5th dimension, similar to Superman foe Mr Mxylptzlik, though Batmite in contrast was shown to idolise Batman and would frequently help him out.

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By the mid 60s the Bat family would be phased out, with editors feeling that there were too many characters detracting from Batman. Kathy Kane would nevertheless be revived many decades later as Kate Kane, whilst the concept of Batgirl would similarly be revived towards the end of the 60s.

Many critics and comic historians have argued that Batwoman and Batgirl were introduced simply to offset complaints that Batman and Robin were gay lovers. Ironically the later version of Kate Kane would be depicted as one of the first openly lesbian heroes in comics.

The Silly Years

Batman’s sales declined rapidly throughout the 60s to the point were there was talk of cancellation. Ultimately however the character would reach new heights of popularity during the later half of the decade thanks to the live action Batman television series starring Adam West.

Premiering in 1966, Batman was a comedy series that spoofed the characters. Though undoubtedly one of the greatest comedy series of all time, the show did change the pubic perception of Batman to being a campy, silly character which made it difficult for later more serious film pitch’s for the Dark Knight to be taken seriously.

Still overall the 60s show had a positive impact on the franchise. Bob Kane himself credited the show with saving the comic, with the 66 Batman helping to kick off a craze that would become known as Batmania. The 60s show would also elevate the characters of the Riddler and Mr Freeze into being among Batman’s most iconic enemies. Prior to the 60s serise Mr Freeze had appeared just once, whilst The Riddler had made only a handful of appearances.

The 60s series would also be responsible for the creation of the second Batgirl. This version of the character named Barbara Gordon was the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, and generally worked on her own. The new Batgirl proved to be very popular with readers and would go on to become one of the most successful female heroes for DC comics.

In order to emulate the success of the 60s show, the Batman comics would start to adopt a campier, more light hearted tone, but after the show came to an end attempts would be made by writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams to take Batman back to his darker roots.

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Classic examples of campier Batman stories of the 60s.

The Night of the Stalker

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Throughout the 70s Batman would be depicted as a much darker character. Now operating alone, with Robin having since grown up and established himself as a hero in his own right. The Batman of the 70s still retained many of the lighter elements that had been developed in the decades since his introduction. The 70s Batman still had a sense of humour, was friendly to those closest to him, and genuinely enjoyed his life.

Still the stories took themselves more seriously than ever before, and explored much darker content.

A classic example of the more mature and sophisticated stories of the 70s, can be seen in the strip “The Night of the Stalker.” Here Batman witnesses the murder a couple in front of their child by common criminals who he then pursues through the woods of Gotham. Batman is absolutely vicious in dispatching the criminals, as he is forced to relive the horror of his parents death yet again. Night of the Stalker was widely praised by fans and critics alike for its depiction of Batman as a dark, ruthless anti hero, whilst at the same time touching on the tragic elements of his character in a moving way.

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Batman’s enemies would similarly be given a makeover during this era. The Joker having been portrayed as a silly prankster throughout the last two decades, would be returned to being a vicious, sadistic, mass murderer in O’Neil’s “Joker’s 5 Way Revenge”. This story saw the villain murder his former henchmen in gruesome ways, with Batman only managing to rescue the last, who the Joker attempts to feed to a shark!

This version of the Joker however was different to the original in that he was still comical, and his plans still more outlandish, but the humour was instead very dark. Unlike later depictions of the Clown Prince of Crime, the 70s, early 80s Joker also still despised the Batman and genuinely wished to kill him. Later versions of the Joker would instead enjoy fighting with Batman, viewing him as the straight man in their double act. The 70s Joker however had a more traditional hero/villain relationship with Batman.

 

Classic examples of the Jokers sick sense of humour from the 70s-early 80s.

The 70s would also see the introduction of the only villain to ever challenge the Jokers claim as Batman’s archfoe. Ra’s Al Ghul. Ghul was a warlord who had been kept young for several hundred years, through the Lazarus pits.

Leader of the league of assassins, Ghul had countless resources all over the world to use against the Batman. He was also Batman’s equal in terms of intellect and physical prowess, and was able to deduce Batman’s secret identity when he first met him. Ghul initially saw Batman as his heir to the position of the Demon’s head, but the two would soon come into conflict which would be made all the more personal by Batman’s feelings for Ghul’s daughter, Talia.

The 70s would also see Batman work with many other DC heroes to a far greater extent than ever before through The Brave and the Bold which saw Batman work with a different DC hero every issue.

The Brave and the Bold was originally conceived as an anthology series, before becoming a team up series.

From issue 50 however The Brave and the Bold came to revolve entirely around Batman working with a different hero each week. This decision was made to cash in on the popularity of the Batman series, but the strip would remain a Batman team up series, even after the show had been cancelled. Throughout the 70s The Brave and the Bold would become the most popular Batman title.

Image result for brave and the bold covers

Image result for brave and the bold covers

The series helped to put Batman into more fantastical and outlandish settings, but unlike in the 50’s comics it didn’t stop the Batman from going on more traditional crime stories in the main title. The Brave and the Bold also helped to examine Batman’s greater role in the DC universe and flesh out his relationships with other DC characters to a far greater extent than ever before. We got to see Batman’s strange friendship with Deadman, his partnership with Wild Cat (which unlike with Robin was on a more equal footing) and his rivalry with Green Arrow. One strip even saw the Caped Crusader trapped in a love triangle with Wonder Woman and Batgirl!

Wonder Woman Love Batman

Batgirl Loves Batman

One of the most ridiculous stories ever written.

For me the late 60s to the early 80s represents the best period of Batman’s history. There is a much wider variety of stories during that decade than any other. The silly, light hearted approach is not entirely jettisoned as seen above, but at the same time there are darker, more serious stories such as Night of the Stalker. The 70s still saw Batman battle ordinary criminals in his own series, yet through the Brave and the Bold it saw the character go on sci fi and fantasy adventures too. The 70s also featured more Batman team ups than any other decade. Brave and the Bold would come to an end in 1982, and when it was revived in 2007 it would be restored to a team up series, rather than a Batman comic.

Batman in my opinion is a better fit for team ups than any other hero. His lack of powers means that he can be vulnerable to any other heroes enemies, whilst his gadgets and deduction skills enables him to be of use to even the most powerful super heroes too. In contrast Superman or Wonder Woman or even The Flash are all too powerful to help out a hero like say Wild Cat, as they’d deal with his problem in a matter of minutes. Its a shame that no other decade would make use of Batman’s adaptability in working with other heroes as well as the 70s did.

For me the 70s best shows off all of the different sides to Batman’s character and it has gone on to be widely praised as a golden age by many critics and comics historians. The 70s would go on to have a large influence on Batman the Animated Series in particular. Sadly however despite its popularity with fans, Batman sales would actually decline greatly throughout the 70s.

End of the Earth One Batman’s adventures

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In 1985 DC would produce a multi crossover story called Crisis on Infinite Earth’s which saw a vastly powerful and evil cosmic entity known as the Anti Monitor destroy every universe, with only one universe, New Earth, created from the ruins of the last 5 universes surviving.

As a result of this the Earth One Batman’s adventures came to an end, and all main DC stories from 1985-2011 would take place on New Earth.

The Huntress, daughter of the Earth 2 Batman’s life would come to a tragic end too. Though she survived the erasure of her own world, she would later be murdered by minions of the Anti Monitor during a final stand against the Anti Monitor’s minions. The Huntress would die a heroesdeath saving some children from falling rubble. The Huntress was one of many heroes to die during the Crisis, alongside Barry Allen (who would be succeeded by Wally West) and Supergirl.

Crisis on Infinite Earth’s had been designed solely to wipe the Multiverse from canon. DC felt that the Multiverse, which had since expanded to include hundreds of earths aside from earth’s 1 and 2 was too overly complicated and in danger of putting new readers off. Therefore New Earth was designed to serve as a single timeline that readers could easily follow.

Ultimately the multiverse would be brought back gradually over the next few decades. The 2005 crossover Infinite Crisis saw one of the final survivors of the multiverse, a heroic alternate version of Lex Luthor, create 52 new universes, whilst a 2015 crossover event called Convergence erased the events of Crisis on Infinite Earth’s restoring the multiverse.

Still from 1985 to 2011, it would be the adventures of the Batman of New Earth that readers would follow.

The Dark Knight Returns

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Batman sales declined in the early 80s, but the character would be given a major boost through a number of much darker, more violent works which fully helped to restore Batman’s reputation as an anti hero.

The first of these was Frank Millers mini series The Dark Knight Returns which depicted an aging and bitter Bruce Wayne come out of retirement. Set outside of the New Earth continuity, The Dark Knight Returns was most notable for featuring Batman and Superman clashing with one another, and its final brutal showdown between Batman and the Joker.

The Dark Knight Returns proved to be a massive success and finally helped Batman shake off the campy image from the Adam West series. The levels of violence in the story far exceeded those of previous Batman adventures. According to Frank Miller, Bob Kane himself hated the miniseries, feeling that it was too nasty. Still The Dark Knight Returns made an immeasurably huge impact on the industry, and similar darker Batman stories followed.

The 1988 graphic novel, The Killing Joke written by Alan Moore and with art by Brian Bolland, expanded on the Jokers origins, whilst taking the feud between the Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight to a whole new level.

The Killing Joke reveals that the Joker was original a failed comedian, who attempted to rob the Ace chemicals plant to support his pregnant wife. On the night of the robbery however, the Jokers wife is killed in a freak accident. The criminals then force him into helping to carry out the robbery, during which the Joker falls into a vat of chemicals, finally pushing him over the edge.

In the present the Joker attempts to prove that one bad day can drive anyone to lunacy. He targets Commisoner Gordon and shoots his daughter Barbara through the spine and then tortures the Commisoner by showing him pictures of Barbara’s bleeding, naked body!

The Jokers origins and his heinous crimes against Jim and Barbara Gordon from the 2016 adaptation of The Killing Joke, starring Mark Hamil as the Joker.

Barbara Gordon who had earlier retired as Batgirl would be permanently crippled as a result. Originally Alan Moore had intended the Killing Joke to be a one off, outside of DC canon, but DC would incorporate it into the New Earth timeline nonetheless. Barbara Gordon would still continue to appear regularly however, as the character of Oracle, a computer expert and skilled hacker. Ironically as Oracle Barbara would go on to have greater significance than she ever did as Batgirl.

Later that same year the Joker would be responsible for another tragedy in Batman’s life in the mini series Death in the Family. Here the Joker murdered the second Robin, Jason Todd in cold blood. Todd had replaced Dick Grayson in 1983. Though popular at first, the character’s more aggressive personality quickly caused readers to turn on him, so much so that in the final panels of Death in the Family, readers were given a choice to vote on Robin’s death or survival, with readers ultimately choosing to kill him.

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The Joker’s murder of Jason Todd, the Second Robin, as voted for by contemporary readers.

These stories, combined with the 1989 Batman movie, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as Batman, and Jack Nicholson as the Joker; helped to cement the darker portrayal of Batman in popular culture.

From this point on Batman would always be depicted as a darker, more violent, tortured anti hero, paranoid, untrustworthy and in some ways as disturbed as many of the villains he faces.

The Modern Age

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Throughout the 90s Batman would continue to enjoy new levels of popularity. Burton’s Batman film had been a record breaking success and a bigger cultural phenomenon than even the 66 series. The character would go on to enjoy greater success in animation with the classic Batman the Animated Series which would kick off the entire DC Animated Universe. Much like the Burton movie, the DCAU would treated the source material seriously. The DCAU would also influence the comics themselves, just like the 66 Batman series.

The character of Harley Quinn, Jokers sidekick and lover who first appeared in Batman the Animated series would later be incorporated into the comic books, becoming one of Batman’s most recognisable enemies in popular culture. Another character from the DCAU who would later be incorporated into the comics would be Terry McGinness, the second Batman.

McGinness was introduced in the series Batman Beyond, which was set 50 years into the future. McGinness was originally a street hoodlum who would stumble upon the Batcave after Bruce Wayne helped save him from the Jokerz Gang. Terry would later steal the Bat suit to avenge his fathers murder, and though Bruce disapproved of his actions at first, Bruce would later take Terry on as his protege, training him to be the new Batman proper.

It would later be revealed that Terry McGiness was in fact Bruce Wayne’s biological son.

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The second Batman, Terry McGiness. Despite his popularity, Terry would not be incorporated into the mainstream comics until 2014 with the new 52 crossover series.

In 1993 one of Batman’s most iconic enemies, Bane would be introduced in the Nightfall arc. Bane would be responsible for breaking the Dark Knights back. For the first time someone other than Bruce Wayne, Jean Paul Valley would be forced to don the suit until Bruce Wayne was able to recover.

Batman would continue to enjoy further acclaim with the No Man’s Land and Hush story arcs, both of which would go on to influence further stories and adaptations.

21st century

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Throughout the first decade of the 21st century Batman would continue to enjoy mainstream success due to the Christopher Nolan trilogy, which reached its peak with The Dark Knight, the second entry in the series. The Nolan trilogy presented audiences with a more realistic, gritty interpretation of the Caped Crusader than any before.

Despite Batman’s popularity however, DC would seemingly kill the New Earth version of Batman in 2008 in the major crossover story Infinite Crisis. Batman seemingly died in action against Superman’s enemy Darkseid, with Dick Grayson taking his place as the new Batman, and Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son taking over as the new Robin.

It would later be revealed however that Batman had simply been sent backwards in time by Darkseid’s Omega beams, and Bruce Wayne would make his return in 2010. Just over a year later however the New Earth Batman’s adventures would come to an end in 2011 when DC rebooted its titles with the New 52 crossover series.

Since 2011 DC has followed the Batman of Prime Earth’s adventures, though as the full multiverse has been restored then the Batmen of Earth One, and New Earth now both still exist, as does the Huntress of Earth 2.

As of the writing of this article Batman still maintains a large presence in popular culture, and with no signs of slowing down its doubtless that we will continue to see more adventures from the Batman of Earth Prime and dozens of other universes for decades to come.

In the next entry of the series we will examine the influences on Batman and the influence the character has had on popular culture.

 

 

Doctor Who Vs Scratchman: Part 4

Image result for tim curry clueImage result for bruce campbell

                            Based on a story by Tom Baker and Ian Marter

(Sorry for the delays. Its been a hectic couple of weeks and I have been very ill. Hopefully things will return to normal soon.)

The earth began to shake violently as the leader of the Scarecrow’s dragged the boy back to the open grave. The more the boy kicked and screamed the more the earth began to shake.

The Doctors Scarecrow meanwhile was able to use the earthquake to its advantage. The shaking earth caused all of the monsters to become unsteady on their feet, and the Doctors Scarecrow, seizing its chance, pushed itself backwards into the other Demons who were restraining him, knocking them all down. The Doctors Scarecrow then quickly jumped up and attacked the Demon that was restraining Yarox. Whilst the two undead creatures fought Yarox tried to rouse the Doctor.

“Please why are you dong this.” The boy whimpered, as the Scarecrow brought him to very edge of the grave.

“Misery loves company son. You will all suffer as we have .”

The boy in desperation tried to fight the Scarcrow, delivering a series of punches to the monsters face, and the Scarecrow responded by biting the boys hand with its flaming teeth.

The boy had never felt pain like it in his life. His screams echoed throughout almost the entire island. He almost fainted from the pain several times, but each time he almost blacked out the Scarecrow would bite just a bit harder to waken him up.

The boy was soon freed from his torment by the Doctor who, having been awoken by Yarox, struck the Scarecrow from behind with the very shovel one of the monsters had used to dig the grave for the boy.

The Doctor’s blow knocked the leader head first into the grave. Yarox then tended to the boy, whilst the Doctor used the shovel to fight off more of the Scarecrow’s that began to swarm them. With a quick strike to the face the Doctor managed to knock one of the Scarecrow’s backwards into another, but when he tried to strick another of the Demons in the chest however, it grabbed the shovel. Before the Scarecrow could pull it out of the Time Lord’s hands, the Doctor triped the Scarecrow up and then whacked the two monsters behind in the legs with the shovel knocking them down.

The boy meanwhile could barely stand he was so weak. His wound had been instantly cauterised by the Scarecrow’s flaming teeth and the pain and shock were beginning to knock him out. Yarox hoisted the boy over his shoulder and ran back through the church to where he assumed the TARDIS was still waiting for them, with the Doctor and his Scarecrow behind. The Doctor was mindful not to slip on the blood stained floors, whilst the boy was almost sick at the gruesome sights around him.

Once they reached the outside of the Church however, the Doctor and Yarox saw to their horror that the TARDIS was gone.

“It can’t be”. The Doctor said in shock. “Elena wouldn’t… That thing whatever it is, must have control of the TARDIS. I’m sorry my boy, but it looks like.”

The doors to the church suddenly burst open, with dozens of Scarecrows emerging, screaming in rage.

“BRING ME THE BOY, HIS BLOOD MUST FLOW!” The leader shouted.

The Doctor, Yarox and his Scarecrow quickly fled to outside the large gates to the church. The Doctor then placed his shovel in betwe-en the handles, temporarily locking the Scarecrow’s in.

The Doctor, his Scarecrow, and Yarox quickly fled to behind a nearby building. The horde of Scarecrow’s ran right past the two time travellers and their companions. The Demons were so consumed with blood lust that they ran almost blindly with rage through the ruins of the once happy town.

“Well looks like we’re not going anywhere soon” The Doctor said as he tended to the boy. The boy had passed out by this stage, but fortunately his wound wasn’t bleeding as the flesh had been burnt to a crisp. For all the Doctor knew however it could have been infected with an alien virus. There was nothing the Doctor could do for the boy unless he got back to the TARDIS.

“While we wait you can tell us just what is going here.” The Doctor said to his Scarecrow.

“Who is this Scratchman? Where is he from?”

“You know who he is. He is the fallen Angel, the father of lies, the Devil.”

“There is no such thing.” The Doctor said, though he sounded somewhat more unsure of himself than before. The Time Lord still didn’t believe that whatever they were dealing with was really the Devil, but it terrified him nonetheless now that his TARDIS was gone.

“You want to believe that, the same way others want to believe that they can escape him by worshipping a false god. The truth is it doesn’t matter if we kill you now. You’ll end up in his domain one way or another.”

“What do you mean.”

“Scratchman is the true creator. There is no God.” The Scarecrow said.

“Oh dear you mean all this time, I’ve just been dealing with another alien with a god complex.” The Doctor joked.

“Stupid little man. You have no idea of the agonies that await you in the pit”. The Scarecrow sneered. “Scratchman gave you all life, and with it false hope. The universe is a horrible, unforgiving place. Across the galaxies it is the norm for life forms to war with each other. From the most advanced species to simple beasts. They all slaughter each other for the most trivial reasons. Many creatures must kill others simply to survive, whilst those who dominate do so through violence and intimidation. Would a benovelent god create a universe like that?” It continued.

“Love, compassion, and the illusion of free will delude us into thinking we have a chance to escape the darkness we’re trapped in, but we don’t. They are all just part of his sick game.”

“Do you know who I was in life?” The Scarecrow continued as it pulled its mask off, revealing its hideous burnt face, charred beyond all recognition.

“I was a flower girl named Clarrisa. I was killed in an accident when I fell off a roof I was working on. I was only 19. I never put a foot wrong in my short time on this earth. I attended church every Sunday, I looked after my mother when she was ill, I worked hard to help support the rest of my family after my fathers passing. So you can imagine my surprise when I died and found myself surrounded by Demons and fire! I What was I being punished for, I asked myself every day through the endless torture.  It was only after I’d lost all hope that Scratchman, or the Devil, or Lucifer whatever you may wish to call him told me the truth.

He’d not only created us, but spread the lie that there was a god who triumphed over him, who cared about us, and who was watching out for us. It allowed him to torture us in life, and even in death all the while deluding us into thinking we could escape.”

“Almost all of the monsters out there you cower from, were once ordinary, decent people. The leader of the Scarecrow’s so intent on murdering the boy? That was his father in life. He did love his son once, but now Scratchman has taken that illusion from him, as he will one day for you.”

The Doctor tried not to show any fear to the Scarecrow, whilst Yarox barely understood a word of what the creature was saying. Thankfully the boy was still unconscious and hadn’t heard the awful truth about his father. Clearly whatever this Scratchman creature was it had the power to drain minds into its domain from the earth, and possibly all of human history.

“How many people have I known, or saved on this planet have ended up in the monsters clutches” The Doctor thought to himself.

“Why does this Scratchman creature want my TARDIS? What are these blood rituals for?”

The Scarecrow smiled with its flaming teeth.

“He knows who you are. You’ve helped send more than a few souls to him Doctor. He’s been watching your visits to this world throughout its history. He needs your ship to shatter the barriers between realities. He’s been breaking them down slowly for a while, but the power from your ship’s core will be enough to break the final barriers. The blood sacrifices are designed to create mini portals to allow Scratchman’s more powerful minions through. None of them are big enough to allow the master to enter this world, but some of his vilest minions will already be here, though you disrupted the latest ritual. Had the Scarecrow’s slaughtered him you would have released the Kraken, ruler of the lake of fire. For now however he must wait on the other side.”

“How do these rituals bring these creatures into the world? I don’t believe in black magic I’m afraid so you’ll have to give me a proper explanation.”

“The master feeds on fear and misery. Through the tiny holes there are in reality, we feed the pain and suffering of the victims to our lord, which allows him to send more of us through. This is all a test for us Doctor. The Master has grown bored of this reality and wants to tear it down. We are only here to pass a test. If we bring him through then he will allow us to help build his new reality. If not then we shall return to the pit and he shall destroy this world anyway.”

“Yes well,” the Doctor said as he clutched his lapels. “I’m sorry for what that monster did to you young lady. To all of you, but whatever this creature is, it is not the creator. I’ve encountered a few psychic parasites that feed off of emotions in my time. It explains how the creature is able to manipulate human consciousness, but we can’t let its cheap tricks scare us my boy.” The Doctor said to Yarox.

“That’s what it wants. The more scared we are, the stronger it gets. We have to be strong, though I admit that’s easier said than done right now without the TARDIS.”

“I still don’t understand what’s going on Doctor.” Yarox said.

“The idea of life after death is something that we never even considered where I came from. We always viewed our own lives as expendible. How can it be possible for all those who have died throughout history to still be alive somewhere?”

“Well my boy no one really knows what awaits us on the other side,  or if there even is one. I’ve cheated death 9 times and I’m still no closer to finding out about the after life than a new born baby, but I do know that the greatest mysteries of life are not going to be answered by an overgrown parasite, and the poor souls its entrapped…. Now, we need to find the other sacrifical sites. We can’t let any more of these monsters enter our world.”

Suddenly the Doctor was interrupted by a loud screeching noise. As the Time Lord looked up he saw a gigantic, snake like head emerging from the middle of the road. It was so massive that it destroyed several buildings nearby, before sinking back under the earth.

“What was that creature.” The Doctor said.

“It was the Hydra. One of the most powerful beasts of the Underworld. You can’t hope to stand against it. It will devour you all.”

“What happened?” Stanley asked.

“Just as those tentacles were about to engulf us they vanished? The ground itself sealed back up?”

“I don’t know. I wouldn’t assume its over just yet though. It may just be playing with us?”  Elena said as she treaded slowly through the ruins of the village, with the survivors slowly following her.

“Stop.” Stanley shouted.

“There’s something up ahead.” They could all hear the faint sound of screaming in the distance which quickly grew louder and louder.

“Its the Scarecrow’s.” Elena said. “We have to run now.” All of the villagers knew that there was no hope of fighting the monsters off themselves. The TARDIS was the only even remotely safe place.

The Scarecrow’s quickly spotted the fleeing villagers and pursued them relentlessly. The villagers had a good head start on the monsters, but in the frantic attempt to escape, one of the villagers, a young woman tripped and fell. None of the others noticed she was gone until it was too later. It was her brother who suddenly noticed she wasn’t with them. He turned, only to see several Scarecrow’s descend on her. The brother screamed and tried to run back to her, and Elena who noticed his screams ran back to try and help the boy.

Unfortunately the Scarecrows, were able to quickly pounce on him., before Elena could do anything, but as she tried to run back, one of the Scarecrow’s jumped towards Elena and grabbed the mutant in it’s metal claws.

Elena struggled to pull free and managed to land a kick straight in the Scarecrow’s chest, but several more of the monsters soon swarmed her. As she still tried in vain to fight them off, suddenly the earth began to shake again, and in the distance Elena could see the mighty head of the Hydra emerge from under the ruins of several buildings. The snake creature rose to its full size out of the ground, hundreds of feet into the sky, screeching and hissing. All of the villagers, who the beast had emerged right in front of stopped in terror. The Scarecrows meanwhile got on their knees and bowed to the monster. Elena herself also stood completely in shock at the sight of the beast. Even in the 31st century, she had never seen such a fearsome creature.

The Hydra’s head started to split into multiple heads until there were at least 30. Despite its tremendous size the monster moved at a lightening speed and started to pick the villagers off. They were so small to the beast that Elena wondered how it could even see them, and with just one bite the monster was able to consume several villagers at once. In less than a minute the Hydra had devoured all of the villagers. Elena quickly ran past the bowing Scarecrow’s, but as she ran she saw that the monsters had slashed the brother and sister she had tried to save to death.

“I hope there is a hell for you all.” Elena thought to herself.

As Elena looked back she saw one of the Hydra heads swallow the TARDIS whole. It was enough to briefly stop Elena in her tracks, but that was soon to be the least of her troubles. The Hydra somehow was able to spot her from the distance. She could tell its tiny cruel little eyes, set deep into its many heads were fixated on her and the monster soon started to crawl over the ruins of the village after her.

The Doctor, Yarox (who was still holding the boy over his shoulder) and the Scarecrow had spotted the Hydra from a distance. The Doctor had also witnessed his beloved TARDIS being devoured, along with the villagers.

“Horrible, horrible” He said to Yarox. “We can only hope Elena wasn’t in the ship. That abomination it looks like chasing someone my boy” The Doctor continued. “Its definitely focused on something.”

“What can we do against that thing.”

“I don’t know, but we can’t just leave whoever its pursuing. Come on.”

“You cannot escape the Hydra” The Doctors Scarecrow said as it was forced to follow thim on this suicide mission.

The monster quickly cornered Elena against the ruins of an old house. She had run as fast as she could, but the monsters giant size meant that it had caught up to her in a matter of seconds.

Its centre head moved slowly towards Elena, wanting to savour every moment of her terror. The Doctor, Yarox and the Scarecrow arrived just in time to see the Hyrda consume Elena in one bite.

The Doctor shouted out her name in despair. He normally even under the direst circumstances would keep his cool, but the horror of what he had just seen was too great even for the Time Lord.

The Hyrda’s heads instantly turned to the Doctor and his companion. There was no way either of them could escape now as the heads surrounded them from all sides. The heads didn’t move for a few minutes. They just stared at their prey intently.

“Doctor, Doctor, please say something.” Yarox said whilst trembling.

“Don’t give it the satisfaction Yarox, don’t give it the satisfaction.” The Doctor said whilst trying to keep his cool.

With a mighty roar the centre head of the Hyrda open its jaws and consumed the Doctor, Yarox and the boy. The Scarecrow’s apart from the Doctors all let out a cheer.

“The Master shall walk the earth again.” They cheered.

To Be Continued

Professor Fang: The Hopping Dead: Part 2: A Fathers Love

 

“What, what’s going on.”

The Emperor said as he stood up with a little help from his wife and son. The Emperor’s son had come to see him per his request one last time. In his final few moments he hoped to impart some last words of advice to his son, but unfortunately their planned final moment together had been interrupted by the palace guard.

“Its Lee Sian Ye your majesty. He’s escaped. He is threatening the town folk unless you show yourself.” The leader of the palace guards, named Hu Chan said. Hu Chan had known the Emperor for years. In fact he had been a friend of both Ye and the Emperor. However even he could see that the Emperor’s days were numbered. Though Chan would never say it, he hoped more than anything that the Empress would just let her husband sacrifice himself and finally end this conflict.

“Take me too him now.” The Emperor said in a faint, breathless tone.

“No you can’t sacrifice yourself.” The Emperors son pleaded. The Emperor’s son was no older than 6. He couldn’t possibly take in the threat of Lee Sian Ye to the people, or the greater evil that was growing inside his own father.

“You don’t understand son. One day you will learn that you have to make sacrifices for the kingdom.”

“You’re a dying man why does that monster not let you die in peace.” The Empress said.

“I told you. Its growing within me. I need to see him. He might be the only one who can” The Emperor suddenly clutched his sides in pain.

He screamed, so loudly that it echoed throughout the entire palace. His flesh turned completely white, his eyes started to go red and his teeth began to enlarge. Hu Chan even pulled out his sword instinctively at the sight of the Emperor. “Its too late” The Emperor said. “My love you must.” The Emperor collapsed before he could finish. His wife tried to rouse him, but it was no use. He was gone.

The Emperors son broke down in tears.

“I’m sorry we tried, we really did.” The Empress said as she cradled her distraught child. The guards meanwhile breathed a sigh of relief. Now there would be no more threats to the kingdom. They had all said goodbye to the Emperor long ago. They knew there had no hope for him as his condition had deteroriated.

The Guards took the Emperors body away, whilst Hu Chan comforted the boy. “He was a great man.” He said. “We will always remember the good he has done for this kingdom above all else.”

The Wizard had choked Kirsteen into unconsciousness, whilst Lindsey crawled along the floor. She could feel herself fading, and was so weak she could barely move. Still Lindsey didn’t give up and literally spat back at the Wizard.

“I’m impressed.” The Wizard said. “If only you had used that determination for good.” He continued as he used his magics to press harder on Lindsey’s throat.

Fortunately however all Lindsey had been aiming for was to distract the Wizard long enough for the Professor to get the drop on him. With one magical blast, the Professor sent the Wizard flying through a nearby house.

“Sorry” The Professor said as he helped Lindsey up. “He caught me by surprise”.

Lindsey ran to Kirsteen and tried to rouse her, whilst the Professor held off the Wizard. The two hurled magical blasts at one another for a few minutes, with both’s energy beams simply deflecting off of one another.

The Professor’s magic was undoubtedly more sophisticated, but he didn’t have time to chant them in the middle of the fight.

“You know, we could always just sit down and talk this over.” The Professor said somewhat jokingly in the middle of deflecting an Eshar beam (which would have been enough to vaporise an ordinary human in the most agonizing way possible.)

“I know your kind, bloodsucker. I know why you and those traitors fight to protect the Emperor.”

“I don’t even know who the Emperor is.” The Professor said as he deflected the Wizards blast enough to knock him back several feet.

“Why would a Vampire want to protect him?” The Professor thought to himself.

“Suddenly one of the guards came running into the square.

“Please, please stop your fighting. The Emperor is dead. We did not want to have to announce it like this, but he passed away just a few moments ago. There is nothing for you here.” The guard said with regret to Lee Sein, the Wizard.

Sein sank to his knees at the news, much to everyone there’s surprise. “I may already be too late. When did he die? What did you do with his body?”

“Why do you care?”

“You fool none of you realise. He has been infected with the curse of the Jiang Shi.”

The guard had no idea what he was talking about nor did any of  the villagers, but Professor Fang knew that name only too well as did Lindsey.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t find a way to save you.” Hu Chan said as he laid his body down on the altar.

There had always been the worry that the Wizards were right and that they would have to put the Emperor down, but now those worries it seems had been squashed.

“The Hissians were filthy cowards. Using black magic against him because they were afraid of a fair fight.” One of the guards said.

“Despite their dirty tricks, they still lost. Their kingdom lies in ruins, whilst ours has never been stronger.” Chan replied. “We have to make sure his suffering wasn’t for nothing. We have to.” As Chan spoke, the Emperor suddenly rose to his feet. His face now completely white, and his eyes bright red.

The guards all stood there in shock. Was it a miracle or a curse? The Emperor looked at his guards, his friends for a few seconds, almost like a confused animal. Hu Chan and indeed none of the other guards saw nothing of the Emperor in his face.

Hu Chan slowly pulled his sword out, as did the other guards as they backed away from the Emperor.

The Emperor’s confused, lost expression quickly turned to one of anger, and malice the likes of which they had never seen before. Even when facing his enemies the Emperor had never shown such sheer unforgiving rage. The Emperor jumped off of the altar towards one of the guards. He sunk his teeth into the guards neck. The others tried to pull their Vampiric former Emperor off of their comrade, but the monsters strength was far too great.

Within a few minutes the Vampire had drained its former servant dry. The Vampire then, with a lightening speed rammed its its claws into the chests of two more guards who it  lifted above its head before throwing halfway across the room, whilst still holding their hearts.

Hu Chan and the other single remaining guard held their swords out to the Vampire. They couldn’t believe it. Even with the various Wizards warnings, none of them had believed that a man of the Emperor’s strength could be turned into a monster. There truly was nothing left of the man they had all looked up to in the Demons face. It had all been replaced by a savage, unnatural bloodlust.

The Vampire moved quickly towards the two surviving guards. The way it walked was so peculiar. It hopped on both feet, with its arms outstretched. It looked almost comical in a way.

The two guards both rammed their swords into their former Emperor, but they both broke as soon as they touched the Vampires flesh. The Emperor roared like an animal and sunk its claws into Chan’s back as he and the other guard attempted to flee.

The other guard delived an air kick to the Emperor’s head, but he only nudged the beast back slightly. Chan managed to pulled free from the Demon’s iron grip meanwhile, but in doing so his flesh was torn off. He lost so much blood that he momentarily fainted.

The other guard still tried to help Chan, but the Vampire slashed him across the face with it’s claws, tearing out one of his eyes!

The gaurd stumbled backwards in pain and lifted out his dagger in a futile effort to fend off his former emperor. He slashed it in the Vampires face, but blade broke just like his sword, and the Vampire then simply grabbed the guards arm and sunk its fangs into his wrist.

The guard tried to pull free, but the Vampire bit harder and harder until it bit his hand clean off.

The guard collapsed to the floor, barely conscious. He made a last ditch effort to crawl to safety, but the Emperor jumped on top of him and started to rip strips of skin off of his back. It then dug one of its talons into his other eye, whilst snapping his other arm with its inhuman strength, before sinking its fangs into his neck and ending his misery.

Chan was quickly awoken by his fellow guards screams. Dizzy and weak from the bloodloss. Chan saw it was already too late for his friend and tried to slip out of the room quietly while the Vampire was feeding. Just as Chan had almost reached the door, the Emperor quickly hopped towards him at a tremendous speed and grabbed Chan, throwing him all the way across the room to the altar.

The Vampire then jumped over 20 feet to Chan, who in turn jumped back over the altar and lifted it off the ground to try and fight the Vampire off. The Emperor however simply smacked the altar away. Chan then grabbed a shield from a statue behind the altar and tried to use it as a weapon. He managed to get a few hits on the Vampire, but it quickly grabbed the shield and snapped it in half.

In desperation Chan took the statue itself and smashed it over the Vampires head knocking him to the ground, but the Vampire instantly jumped up again. Knowing he’d never make it to the door, Chan jumped out of the nearest window. He fell two floors outside into the lake beside the castle, where he swam blindly in sheer terror to escape the Emperor. He wasn’t even sure if the Demon was following him anymore. Chan’s terror of the beast was so great that he thought nothing of fleeing from the Demon despite his vow to protect the Emperor’s family above all else. He wasn’t used to feeling vulnerable. Even when facing multiple enemies at once, he always knew there was a chance he could overcome them. With the Vampire Emperor however as far as he was concerned, no one could stand against such a monster.

“I hate to say it, but the Wizard’s right.” Professor Fang said.

“Even though he tried to choke both of us.” Kirsteen said, still gasping for air.

“Well obviously not at that, but if the Emperor is infected we have to get to him. The Jiang Shi are among the strongest, most vicious and dangerous breed of Vampire. Just one of them loose in this kingdom could bring it down. I’m just surprised that no one else here knows what a Jiang Shi is?” The Professor continued.

“We know nothing of these beasts you speak of?” The Guard said?

“The Jiang Shi are the apex Demons on the mainland of China. They’ve destroyed countless towns, villages, communities, they’ve even brought down some of the mightiest kingdoms. Yet for some reason this tiny little kingdom seems to have escaped their reach? None of you apart from the Wizard even know what  Jiang Shi is.” The Professor said to the scared villagers who had gathered round.

“It was once dominated by those inhuman monsters” Lee said.

“What do you mean” the guard, who genuinely had never even heard the name Jiang Shi before asked.

“This place was once a have for Jiang Shi, Demons and other horrors, but this is irrelevant. We have to stop that bloodsucker now, at any cost.”  He said as he hurled the guard into the air.

Whilst Lee was distracted the Professor fired an energy blast at the Wizard causing him to drop the guard.

“Look” Lindsey said firmly. “We’ve both encountered the Jiang Shi before. We’ve seen them take down entire civilisations, even worlds in the far future. We can help you, but only if you do things our way.

“Your way? You’re monsters.” Lee said.

“Yet who is it here that has just tried to murder innocent people. ” Lindsey fired back which actually made the Wizard stop for a moment and begin to realise how far his fear of the Jiang Shi had driven him.

“It can’t be”. The Empress said as she held her son back.

“Father, father.” The boy shouted in glee.”He’s come back to us.

“No son” The Empress said. “He hasn’t.”

The Emperor stood in the door way to their room,. Though he was concealed in the shadows, The Empress could see it wasn’t the man she loved.

“They were right, they were right.” She said to herself with regret as her husband hopped out of the shadows to confront his former loved ones.

To Be Continued

 

 

 

The Circus Master: Journey to the Centre of Evil: Part 2: The Green Oceans

 

“Come in, come in” do you read me. “Its no use, that thing must have.” Kile didn’t even want to finish that sentence.

Her mother, Hiliseia had been aboard the last civilian facility for her people left in the ocean. All that was left of their entire civilisation now was the research centre, where their few remaining scientists were deseperately attempting to find a way to escape from the Demons.

“What was the point”. She thought. “The Demon’s will no doubt find them too.” As Kile sank to he knees in despair, she was quickly jolted up by a screaming sound coming from the end of the long, dark corridor. Kile raised her weapon in fear and walked slowly to the end of the corridor.

“They’ve found us.” They’ve found us” She said to herself whilst trembling. As she reached the end of the corridor, she saw her old friend, Mozek lying on the floor, covered in blood.

“Mozek, Mozek please.” She said as she tried to rouse her friend.

“They’re here, the Ishika, they.” He fainted before he could finish. Kile tried to rouse him again when suddenly a huge beast came bursting through the floor. It was one of the hideous Ishika, members of Kile’s race who had been infected by the gigantic Demons that stalked the green oceans outside. The creatures were in some ways even more vicious and sadistic than the giants who had created them.

Kile fired at the monsters feet. None of her puny weapons could kill the monster, but she hoped she might be able to slow it down for a short while otherwise.

Kile quickly ran down a nearby corridor whilst carrying her friend. She headed for the emergency room which was just a few corridors down. Her team had stumbled upon the room when they first arrived, and they always made sure at least some of the team stayed near it in case of an emergency. Not that the room had done the civilians from the city any good.

When Kile reached the emergency room and opened the door, she was soon confronted by another one of the Ishika, covered in the blood of her team mates.

“I thought we’d killed the last one!” The monster said with sadistic delight.

Kile fired at the monster repeatedly, but it simply laughed as her lasers only produced minor burns which quickly healed. The original Ishika that had pursued Kile meanwhile slowly crept up on the former soldier. She knew it was behind her, but she didn’t care. She had to focus all of her power on the Demon blocking the path.

As Kile fired and fired more desperately, one of the many beams skidded off of the monsters hide and struck one of the explosives in the safe room behind. (The safe room was filled with various weapons. )

The explosion rocked the room, and knocked Kile, and the two Demons off of their feet, but Kile quickly jumped up, and pulled Mozek who was still unconscious with her. As they almost reached the room however, one of the Demons grabbed hold of Mozek’s arm. Kile tried to pull him, but it was no use. Rather than engage in a pointless tug of war, Kile instead struck the Demon in the face with the butt of her gun. It didn’t harm the monster, but it managed to catch it off guard for a few seconds for Kile to pull her friend into the safe room and shut the door behind her.

One of the Demons pounded on the door, whilst the Ishika who had come from the safe room started to punch in the code to the door. (Which it had earlier tortured from one of the Kile’s team, so it could wait in the safe room for anyone who tried to flee there. It had managed to slaughter 6 of Kile’s team that way.)

Kile quickly shot the door panel from her side, sealing the door shut on the outside. Both Demons started to claw furiously on the door.

“You can’t escape us you’ll die screaming just like we did!”

Kile however ignored the beasts and focused on helping her friend. Mozek had drifted in and out of consciousness during the ordeal.

“Stay with me” Kile said. “We might be the last two left.” Kile searched around for any medical supplies. Sadly most of the suplies had been destroyed in the explosion. Parts of the room were still on fire. The remains of many of her team mates were scattered all of the place. “Disgusting freaks”. Kile said to herself as she looked around for anything that could help Mozek.

“Kile, Kile” Mozek said pitifully.

“Please, Mozek just hang on” Kile said.

Suddenly however Mozek grabbed Kile by the throat and threw her across the room. As Kile looked up she could see to her horror, Mozek morphing into one of the hideous Ishika.

“I can’t believe you fell for that.” Mozek taunted and laughed.

The gargantuan Demon had began to crush the sub. It had only spared the Circus Folk for a few seconds longer as it felt a strange presence from some of these tiny creatures. There was an almost creeping sense of familiarity to them. Still the Demon quickly overcame the strange feelings and started to slowly crush the sub.

“We need to get out now.” The Circus Master said as he started to pull the hatch open.

“If you think I’m going to swim in that green slime.” Florence said with indignation.

“Oh how unreasonable to ask a Siren to swim!” The Circus Master snapped back.

“Don’t worry though it’s an escape pod.” He continued as he pulled the hatch up.

The Strange Boy meanwhile had completely lost his mind. He was clawing at the walls as they came closer, and attacking anyone who came near him. None of the rest of the team could overpower him directly. Both Florence and the Circus Master were thrown across the room when they tried to restrain the child Vampire. Even Denika couldn’t land a hit on the Vampire with her blasts before the Strange Boy knocked her down with one strike.

Carlene quickly fished through her beehive. (Denika and the Circus Master had also rebuilt her beehive after the Hylexans spell, and therefore everything in it.) After a few seconds, that felt like an eternity under the circumstances, Carlene finally found what she was looking for.

It was a piece of yellow paper with a spell on it (written in Chinese), which if placed on the head of a Jiang Shi would freeze it in it’s tracks. Taoist priests had used them on the main land of China for centuries to tame the beasts.

Carlene was able to jump the Strange Boy from behind whilst he was wrestling with the Circus Master and placed the paper on his forehead.

The Circus Master look disapprovingly. “I’m not happy on one of those being used on the boy.” He said to Carlene.

“Sorry I’ll just let him go crazy and get crushed to death” Carlene said as she hoisted the boy over her shoulders and headed to the pod with the rest of the Circus Folk.

The pod was tiny. It could barely hold all of the folk. They all had to press back against the wall to give the Circus Master space to work the controls.

“Oh no, oh no” The Circus Master said as he pounded furiously on the controls.

“Its the demon, its crush the hatch to release the pod. Its too small for the pod to get through. We’re trapped.”

Walls of the pod started to squeeze together along with the rest of the Sub. In desperation, Denika blasted the pod out of the hatch using her magic.

The pod fired out into the demon and bounced off its scales before plummeting through the depths.

“The Circus Folk were shaken by the blast, with Ashlei and Keptis even being knocked out.”

“What would we do without you” Carlene said to Denika after making sure Ashlei was okay.

“Well there was a 50/50 chance we could have been blown up too, but what choice did we have.” Denika said whilst clutching to the back wall.

“Don’t get too cocky yet. I can’t control this thing. We’re headed for a crash.” The Circus Master interrupted as he frantically worked the controls.

Fortunately the giant Demon hadn’t noticed the pod. It was too small, though it could still sense the Circus Folk, or at least some of them. The Demon looked around, but it couldn’t find anything. The pod had long since fallen into the murky depths. The Demon had more important things to worry about anyway and started to flee.

The Circus Master was able to steer the pod into a large sandy area of the ocean floor. It still hit the ground with tremendous force, and had the Circus Master been human he would have been killed by the impact. The rest of the Circus Folk meanwhile were safe at the back.

“Sometimes being a Demon can be handy” The Circus Master said as his smashed skull began to heal itself.

Carlene looked at the two giant Demons above on the scanner. Both were swimming away from the ruins of the city.

“There’s something about those monsters” Carlene said. “Every time I look at them I want. I want.”

“What.” Ashlei asked.

“I want to hurt you. I want to hurt everyone here.” Carlene said with self loathing.

“Of course you do.” The Circus Master interrupted. “I feel the same, as I’d reckon do you Florence.”

Florence didn’t answer, but she didn’t have to.

“Those monsters up there are Kardons.”

The others except for Ashlei all froze in terror at the mention of that name.

“It can’t be.” Carlene said.

“What the hell is a Kardon?” Ashlei asked?

“Our forebears. The Kardons were believed to be the original Demon race, created by the Creator of all things. They were the most evil, fearsome and powerful of all Demon races. Their leader, Khastran, many eons ago conquered the earth to try and gain access to the mystic realm.”

“Yes I remember.” Ashlei said. “The book he left behind killed my brother. You don’t tend to forget little things like that.”

“I’m sorry Ashlei.” The Circus Master said sincerely.

“According to legends.” He continued. “During the battle to banish the Kardons, the Angels and the Gods working together were able to seal Khastran’s most vicious, evil warriors deep beneath the earth’s core. I always thought it was a legend, but well.”

“I’d always hoped we wouldn’t have to run into one of them” Florence said.

“Yes so did I. Being near those creatures awakens the Demon within us. The poor Strange Boy it seems was the most affected because the Demon in him is the strongest, but we have to be careful. All of us.”

Suddenly a transmission came in through the speaker. It was very faint.

“Hello, please, someone come in.”

The Circus Master grabbed the speaker.

“Hello we read you, can you hear me this is.” He paused for a few seconds. “I’m not sure you’d believe me if I told you who we are, but we’re here to help.”

“I don’t have time for jokes. My name is Kile and I’m trapped in the safe room in one of the ruins. You have to help me. My entire team is dead.”

“Hang on we’re tracing the signal.” The Circus Master said.

“Got you, it should take about twenty minutes or so to reach you.”

“I can wait that long. Be careful though. There are hundreds of Ishika’s crawling through the ruins.”

“Ishika?” The Circus Master said.

“Please I am in no mood for your jokes. Get here now!” The signal cut off.

“We need to get there now. I’m afraid Florence, we’re going to have leave the pod.”

“No, no you have got to be.”

“This pod won’t move. There are too many people in it. Besides its been damaged in the crash.”

“Oh okay fine, but I just want you to know I spent close to 50 years under the sea, yet I can’t bare the thought of letting that green gloop touch me. What does that tell you?”

Denika blew a hole in the pod. It had been so badly damaged that the hatch wouldn’t open by itself.

The magic protected the Circus folk from the green slime, but it was so thick and foul smelling that it was hard to walk just a few feet within it.

“I take it back. These oceans are more polluted.” The Circus Master said. “Its the Kardons. Their evil has corrupted it. If weren’t for the magic, one touch would probably be enough to turn us into monsters.”

“We’re already monsters darling.” Carlene said.

“Well bigger monsters.”

Denika used her magics to light up ahead through the green slime. Just up ahead was a large building that had begun to crumble.

Ashlei stared at the building transfixed for a few seconds, not really sure why.

“Ashlei” Carlene nudged her.

“Sorry Carlene I don’t know why but.”

Suddenly a horde of Ishica emerged from the building. They moved through the waters with a lightening speed and in a matter of seconds they had swarmed the Circus Folk.

To Be Continued

 

 

 

 

Doctor Who Vs Scratchman: Part 3

Image result for tim curry clueImage result for bruce campbell

                                

                              Based on a story by Tom Baker and Ian Marter

 

“COME ON” Christopher shouted to the others from his boat. The Scarecrow’s had been chasing them for hours. They were among the last survivors from Liage. Originally 30 men and women had managed to flee from the village during the Scarecrow’s slaughter, but only 6 of the survivors, including Christopher had managed to make it to the harbour.

Christopher had gone ahead to the boat, not bothering to look and see if the others were behind him or not. He wasn’t a coward. Far from it, but he was the only one who could work the boat.

Christopher could see what looked like hundreds of the Scrarecrows on the beach chasing the mere 5 survivors, two of whom they caught up to and then tore to pieces. For a second Christopher contemplated leaving the final 3. He needed to get back to the main land not just for himself, but to warn the people there of what was happening. Christopher wasn’t sure if the Scarecrow’s could swim or not, and his boat couldn’t move that fast. If he went now maybe he could get a good head start on them?

He stayed behind to the end however and the three survivors, a young boy and his parents managed to make it to the boat. Unfortunately one of the Scarecrows quickly jumped after them, and landed on the deck.

Before Christopher or his parents could help the boy, the Scarecrow dug its claws deep into his stomach. Christopher quickly struck the monster with a wrench knocking it to the floor, whilst two more Scarecrow’s tried to crawl onto the boat. Christopher handed the wrench to the boys father, whilst he started the boat.

Christopher was able to get the boat out of reach before more Scarecrows could jump onto the deck. It appeared the monsters couldn’t swim as they stopped when they got to the shore. The father, a large heavy set man was able to knock one of the Scarecrow’s off the edge of the boat, whilst the other grabbed him by the throat. Christopher however was able to distract the monster long enough for the father to hit the creature straight in the face with the wrench, sending it tumbling back into the sea.

The mother meanwhile had been tending to the boy who had passed out from the pain.

“Don’t worry” Christopher said to the mother. “We’ll get help for him on the mainland.” Suddenly however the boat started to shake.

“What was that” The father said, raising his wrench. Just ahead Christopher could see several bodies floating in the water, killed in some kind of horrific ritual. Worse still the waters beyond the body were bubbling and steaming. Christopher suddenly had a horrifying realisaton. “The Scarecrows let us go because there was something in the waters they knew would get us.”

He tried to steer the boat in a different direction, but a massive head soon began to emerge from the steaming water in front. It was several times bigger than the boat itself! The head was like that of a snake’s except it had two massive horns sticking out from either side of the back of its skull.

The beast breathed fire just above the boat before staring down at Christopher and the terrified family who huddled together.

The Scarecrows laughed at the survivors plight, as the giant opened its mighty jaws and engulfed the boat in one bite.

“This ship is ours now” The leader of the Scarecrow’s taunted Elena, who pushed all of the survivors behind her and out of the back door of the console room. Two Scarecrow’s tired to attack her and the survivors, but Elena managed to flip one over her shoulder, and send another tumbling backwards with a powerhouse kick to the chest.

After getting the last of the villagers out of the back door, Elena locked it and threw herself onto the console. The Scarecrows, over 30 or in total, surrounded Elena from all angels and pushed her against the console.

“You are trapped fool. There was no way you could have ever escaped the Master. You have to die someday.”

“You before me” Elena said as she quickly thumped on the controls behind her, and activated the emergency system which was designed to take the TARDIS back to the vortex.

Both of the TARDIS doors had been left open and all of the Scarecrow’s were instantly sucked out into the vortex. Elena meanwhile grabbed onto two safety handles underneath the console. The Doctor had them installed after a few accidents with the doors in the past. They put whoever held them into a state of temporale grace. As a result Elena didn’t even have to grip them that hard, whilst the other Scarecrows who clung to the Tardis console and the walls with all their inhuman strength were pulled out in a matter of seconds.

One of the Scracecrow’s did manage to grab onto Elena’s foot, but with a quick kick to the face she sent it flying out into the vortex with the others.

Elena then quickly shut the doors. She felt sick at having to condemn even those monsters to that fate. The Scarecrow’s wouldn’t die in the vortex. They would be forced to float around through an endless void for all eternity.

“What else could I have done” she tried to rationalise to herself, before pressing the fast return switch to take the TARDIS back to its previous location.

“Its okay” she said to the survivors as she opened the back door. “They’ve gone.”

“How did you?” Mrs Tulloch asked.

“You don’t want to know.” Elena said with regret.

Outside, Elena could see that they had landed on a different part of the island.

“Damn” She said as she thumped down furiously on the TARDIS console. “God this machine is so unpredictable. I don’t know where we’ve landed. It could be 100 years in the past for all I know.”

“No we’re still in Liage.” Mrs Tulloch said. “We’re just a few miles away from the church.”

“I need to find the Doctor. He’s expecting the TARDIS to be where we left it. He could be in danger right now with no way of escape. I have to find him.”

“You’re just going to leave us?” One of the men at the back said. He was short, bald, yet had a very strong build. His name was Stanley and he had been the mayor of Liage for many years. He didn’t trust either the Doctor or Elena. To be fair no one there really did, but Stanley always had trouble taking orders from others. He had kept quiet until now however as he had been ashamed at not being able to protect the village from the monsters. There was nothing he could have done, and he fought to the end, but still he felt it was his duty to protect his people and he had ultimately failed. Now however he felt he had to speak up.

“We don’t know who, or what you are.” Stanley said in anger.” And you’re just going to leave us in this strange place, that those monsters already broke into? How do we know you’re not in league with them? This could just be another one of their sick little games, to make us think we’re safe and then those things will corner us here.”

Some of the other villagers started to look at Elena in a more suspicious way, even Mrs Tulloch and her daughter. Even in these circumstances, Stanley still had a way of swaying people.

“Look at her one eye and red hair. She’s a Demon!” One scared villager shouted from the back.

“I’m not a Demon, I’m not in league with those Scarecrow’s. I’m in the same position as all of you. I’m scared, I’m fighting for my life. My friend is out there, and if I don’t act now he could die.” Elena said.

“We’re not being left in here.” One of the villagers, an old woman, from the back shrieked.

“Its the safest place for you.” Elena said.

“If they get in here we’re cornered. Outside we at least have somewhere to run.” Stanley protested.

“Besides you’re not the only one with people out there who might need help.” He continued as he looked round at the rest of the survivors.

Elena knew it was pointless to argue with them any further. They barely trusted her as it was, and she didn’t blame them. Here they were, cooped up in a strange looking ship, with a woman who looked like a monster to them. Maybe they were right that it would be safer outside, though Elena didn’t like to leave the TARDIS unattended, the survivors wouldn’t have been able to defend it anyway.

“Right then no point in arguing any more lets go. I don’t agree with you, but I can’t waste any more time while the Doctor might need my help come on.” Elena said.

Outside the Tardis were the ruins of what looked like a little shop and a few houses. There were bodies strewn all over the street, all mangled beyond recognition. Some of the villagers cowered at the sight, others looked away, one was even sick.

Even already Elena knew it was a mistake to bring the villagers along.

Suddenly the entire town began to shake violently so much several of the buildings began to collapse.

“Doctor what’s going on?” Yarox shouted as he tried to help the Doctor who had been knocked off of his feet.

“Its another dimenaional breach.” The Doctor said.

“These blood rituals, whatever they are are designed to break down the barriers between this world and theirs.”

The shaking quickly stopped, but up ahead the Doctor could see cracks beginning to form in the streets. He went to examine one and for a few seconds he saw what looked like fire in between the cracks, before it turned to normal.

“The walls between universes are weak. They could shatter any minute. I don’t know what the Scarecrow’s are doing, but it seems they are draining the energy from the humans to break down the walls. One more ritual could bring forth whatever they want.”

The Doctor was interruped by the sounds of someone screaming in the distance.

“PLEASE HELP ME SOMEONE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!”

The Doctor quickly pushed Yarox into an alleway and told him to be quite, whilst he fished into his pocket for his gadget. The two time travellers soon saw a young boy, cut and bloodied running by them. Behind him was a Scarecrow riding a bicycle! Its flaming eyes and mouth lit up the dark road ahead.

“Excuse me.” The Doctor said as he ran out to meet the monster. ” I’d like to have a word with you. You see me and my friends, we came here for a little holiday you see, just the three of us, but its quite what we were expecting. Too many tourists, too many Demon Scarecrow’s, too many Eldritch abominations. I was wondering can you recommend any other nice little, quite rural areas?”

The Scarecrow turned and hissed at the Doctor. “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get the name of that place.” The Doctor said mockingly.

The Scarecrow jumped off of its bike and grabbed the Doctor by his lapels, hissing and roaring.

“Ah yes I know the place, lovely during this time of year”. The Doctor said flippantly before activating his gadget. The Scarecrow bent backwards in pain and staggered about for a few seconds, before reaching out and grabbing the Doctor by the throat with both hands.

Yarox tried to pull the monster off of the Doctor, but it was no use.

“Don’t worry Yarox. I have it all under control.” The Doctor said as he lightly pushed the monsters claws away from his throat and adjusted his suit.

“Its now trapped in a forcefield that nothing can penetrate, or control except this little gizmo here.”

“You did it Doctor!” Yarox said with exhalted relief.

“Yes well my boy when you’ve been around as much as I have you.” Suddenly the Doctor noticed the boy the Scarecrow was chasing had gone.

“The fool he must have ran away when the creature attacked me. We have to find him.” The Doctor and Yarox quickly ran down the street, though the Scarecrow the Doctor had taken control of remained completely still.

“Of course.” The Doctor said as he darted back to the Scarecrow.

“Come on I suspect we’ll need your help.”

The boy had ran in blind terror down the street and round the nearest corner. He obviously had no idea who the Doctor was and so as soon as he had seen the monster grab the Time Lord he fled. He knew there was nothing he could have done to help him, and as far as he knew it may have been his only chance.

Unfortunately it proved to be the wrong decision. Just round the corner were the two dozen or so Scarecrow’s that had chased the Doctor and Yarox out of the church. The monsters noticed the boy instantly and were quick to pounce on him.

Within a few seconds the boy was trapped under a horde of the monsters, clawing at him. He felt sure it was over and didn’t even bother to fight back, when suddenly one of the Scarecrow’s screamed at the others to stop.

“We need him alive for now remember. Besides I have a very special fate in mind for him.” The leader of the Scarecrow’s said.

Elena and the other villagers had not encountered any Scarecrow’s yet. They were on the other side of the village. Along the way however one young woman had recognised one of the corpses as that of her husband. His face like all the others was mutilated beyond recognition, but she recognised the remains of the tattered suit he wore on the day of the attack. The two had only been married for a few months, but they had known each other since they were children.  She ran towards his corpse and started to cradle it.

“No, no, no, please this can’t be happening.” She weeped as she held what was left of her husband.

The others tried to talk her away, but she refused leave her husband again. After a few minutes Elena insisted that they would have to leave.

“You really are inhuman aren’t you?” Stanley said.

“I’m sorry, I wish there was something that we could do, but we can’t just stand around here like sitting ducks whilst the Doctor is in danger.” Elena said.

Stanley refused to leave her and an argument soon broke out between them, with most of the survivors taking Stanley’s side.

“I’ve known this young woman for my entire life and if you think I’m going to just leave her here.” Stanley shouted.

“Fine I’ll carry her.”

“You won’t lay a finger on her.”

“Oh for god’s sake what do you.”

Elena suddenly noticed a screaming sound in the background. It was coming from what looked like the remains of an old pub.

Wasting no time arguing further Elena ran to the pub. Inside she could see one of the Scarecrow’s torturing a young man. It had strung him upside down from the ceiling and was slashing him with its metal claws. The monster hadn’t noticed Elena as it was too caught up in its own sadistic games. Elena grabbed a pool ball from a snooker table and walked slowly up to the Scarecrow from behind. She struck it over the back of the head with all her strength, knocking it face down.

As Elena went to untie the monsters prisoner however, the Scarecrow instantly jumped back up.

“Was that supposed to hurt?” The monster sneered. Elena tried to hit the Scarecrow in the face again, but it slashed her across the arm, causing her to drop the ball. Elena tried to kick the monster, but it managed to grab her foot and pulled hard, knocking her face down.

The Scarecrow then started to slashed Elena on the back. She didn’t let the pain deter her however, and thrust herself backwards into the monster, sending it tumbling back. Elena then quickly ran to a nearby table and picked up a large empty bottle of vodka which she smashed over the Scarecrow’s head to no effect. She then leaped over the pool table and rammed it into the monster. She managed to push the creature back into a nearby wall, but the Demon responded by smashing the table in half with one strike. The beast tried to strike at Elena again, this time aiming for her throat, but she managed to dodge its attack and flip it over her shoulder before trying to unti the prisoner again.

The monster however quickly jumped up again, only this time it was too fast and managed to grab Elena from behind in a headlock. She struggled with all of her strength, but the Demon held on tight, and started to slowly dig one of its metal claws into her throat.

Before it could slice her skin open, Stanley hit the monster over the head with a chair. Elena looked around to see several more of the survivors dogpiling on the monster, whilst others, including Mrs Tulloch helped the prisoner down.

The Scarecrow quickly tossed the other survivors, including Stanley aside, but they distracted it long enough for Elena to land an air kick into the Demon’s chest, sending it flying across the room. Elena made sure the villagers got out before her and distracted the Scarecrow by throwing anything she could at the monster, pool balls, bottles, even a chair.

Outside they all quickly headed down the nearest street, with two men carrying the Scarecrow’s prisoner. Elena could see among the survivors, the young woman’s whose fiance had been killed by the monsters.

“I’m sorry” Elena said to the woman. “I didn’t meant to.”

“No we are.” Stanley interrupted. “I’m not going to pretend to even understand what you, or your two friends are, but I saw in there that you were willing to risk your life for us. I’m sorry I misjudged you.”

“Believe you me, people born thousands of years later have been far more judgemental than you lot were.” Elena

As they ran blindly down the streets, Elena looked around for anything they could use against the Scarecrow’s, or even just anywhere they could hide.

“Please I can’t go on any longer.” The Scarecrow’s former prisoner said. The survivors stopped and put the man down, whilst Elena got a good look at his wounds.

“Please.” He said. “They took my little brother away. They said he was going to meet our parents, you have to help him.”

He started to cough up blood. It was obvious that he wouldn’t last much longer and Elena and the others did all they could to make him feel comfortable in his last few moments.

“I promise we’ll find him” Elena said gently as she held his hand, whilst the others kept a look out for the Scarecrow.

The earth began to shake again, only this time it split open just in front of the survivors. Suddenly several tentacles began to emerge from the crack in the ground. The tentacles were roughly 80 feet long, green and reptillian looking. They writhed around in the air for a few seconds, with one of them knocking the ruins of a small shop over, before reaching out for two of the survivors feet. The tentacles lifted the survivors up into the air, before Elena or anyone else could help them, and then swung them around repeatedly. They smashed their heads off of the ground and threw them all the way across the village. The rest of the survivors all ran frantically in every direction, but more cracks started to appear in the ground and more tentacles emerged, that quickly reached up and wrapped themselves around buildings, crushing them.

The survivors tried desperately to dodge the pieces of falling rubble and the tentacles, that started impaling any survivor they came into contact with. “We’re trapped.” Elena said, as she Stanley and a handfull of other survivors were surrounded by more tentacles.

“Please, please just let me go. I’m completely harmless, I’m not important.” The boy screamed as the Scarecrow’s dragged him to the graveyard outside of the old church.

“So were we once.” The leader of the Scarecrow’s said with regret.

The Demons brought them to a coffin that lay next to a dug grave. The heading on the tombstone was “Marissa Thompson.” The boy knew that name only too well. It was his mother!

The boy whose name was Jonathan had never known his mother. She had sadly died giving birth to him. His father Mark had always resented Jonathan for this. He was never violent to Jonathan, but he always made it clear that Jonathan’s older brother, Kevin was his favourite. When Mark had passed away just a few years ago, Jonathan didn’t even attend his funeral. He felt that even in death his father wouldn’t want him there.

“What do you want from me.” Jonathan asked.

“We want your fear, your pain.” The Scarecrow said as it pulled open the coffin. Inside Jonathan could see the rotting corpse of his mother. He looked away in horror and wanted to be sick, but the Scarecrow’s brought him closer to the casket.

“I can understand why you’re so upset. You did kill her after all.” The leader of the Scarecrow’s taunted. It then picked up Marissa’s corpse and started to dance with it in a mocking way.

“Such a loss.” It said. “She never got to see her boy grow up. Still maybe we can make up for the lost time by making sure you spend as much time together now.” The leader of the Scarecrow’s then threw Marissa’s corpse into Jonathan before throwing them both into the coffin. The Scarecrow’s then sealed it up and began to lower the coffin into the ground.

Jonathan pounded on the coffin lid and screamed for help, but the Scarecrow’s simply laughed.

“No one can help you now. You’ll rot alongside the body of the woman you killed.” The leader of the Scarecrow’s taunted.

Just then however one of the Scarecrow’s from the back pushed its way past the others and picked up the shovel that had been used to dig the grave and hit the leader over the head.

Before the other two Scarecrow’s holding the coffin could react, it hit both of them across the face and ripped open the lid, pulling the boy out. The leader jumped up and prepared to attack the both of them, but Yarox who had been hiding behind a grave stone tackled him to the ground. The Doctor then jumped out from behind another head stone, and quickly lifted a tomb that the Scarecrow’s had knocked over, and smashed it into the leaders face. The Doctor then rammed it into the chest of another Scarecrow, pushing it back into the others behind, whilst Yarox and the Doctors Scarecrow fought off the rest.

However one of the monsters managed to push the Doctor back the way, and ripped the tombstone out of his hands, before bludgeoning him over the head with it. Yarox quickly noticed the Doctors plight, but unfortunately in the second he was distracted, one of the Scarecrow’s grabbed him from behind.

The Doctors Scarecrow was soon overpowered by the others and the leader of the Scarecrow’s grabbed the boy.

“Now where were we?” It said with malicious glee.

To Be Continued

Professor Fang: The Hopping Dead: Part 1: The Emperors New Clothes

 

“Its no use. Whatever that devil poisoned me with, even the most powerful magics can’t undo its effects.” The Emperor said as he embraced his tearful beloved.

“There must be something. After all you’ve done for this kingdom, its not fair that you should die like this.”

“I have no complaints. Thousands of other young men lie dead on that battlefield. I’m lucky that I was able to spend even a short time longer with my family. Its up to you now. You must.”

The Emperor suddenly clutched his sides in pain. “I don’t have much time left. Please I want to speak with our son one last time.”

“Don’t say that there are still.”

“No my love there is no hope. You must find a way to kill me now. I can feel the poison of the Demon growing within me. If you don’t act fast, the kingdom, everything we fought for could end.”

“Ah Kirsteen my dear. I was looking for you. We’ve reached our next destination.”

“Really already? That was quick.”

“Well the journey’s are unpredictable. It is a time machine after all.”

Kirsteen was still having trouble taking in what she had seen in the Abyss. She knew now after visiting that nightmarish place that she would never be able to get her old life back, but strangely enough she wasn’t that upset. There really was nothing waiting for Kirsteen back in the 20th century. Her family were long gone, and all of her friends had turned their backs on her. Even her career had been in taters. Kirsteen also quite liked what the Professo and Lindsey had told her, that after her “death” she was remembered as a legend for centuries to come. “Unlike most others I’ve lived long enough to enjoy being a dead legend.” She had joked to the Professor.

Still Kirsteen wasn’t sure what to make of her new life here. The monsters were terrifying enough, but now she knew if she made the slightest little mistake, she could end up trapped in that hell like those other poor souls. There were times where Kirsteen felt so scared and trapped she just wanted to scream for help. She knew it wouldn’t do her any good with the Professor. Most of the time he seemed rather indifferent to her. She had seen him risk his life for her against the Maliaks Demonic God, but she still couldn’t trust him.

Lindsey meanwhile Kirsteen felt she could trust. There had always been a somewhat more warm and caring aspect to Lindseym, but sadly since their last adventure she had been somewhat closed off.

Even the Professor hadn’t spoken to her much since their trip to the Abyss, as he knew there was nothing he could do.

“Please be a dear and fetch Lindsey would you, I have to prepare.”

“Where have we landed?”

“Earth. Many thousands of years in your past. The teleporter will take us to China specifically, though I’m afraid I don’t recognise the name of the kingdom. It appears to have been lost to time. I’m sure we’ll find out why soon enough.”

“Yeah I can’t wait.”

Kirsteen found Lindsey in her room, absorbed in one of the few books left on the ship.

“Lindsey we’ve”

“I know I’ve been on this ship long enough to sense it. You will one day too.”

“I hope not. No offense.”

“None taken. Its really not that great a life is it? Even with a time machine you still wish you could go back and do things differently.”

“Lindsey I don’t know what to say. I can’t imagine how hard this is, I’ve been through loss myself.”

“So have I. This isn’t just losing someone Kirsteen. I abandoned her Kirsteen. She was my friend and I left her to rot in that place forever.”

“There was nothing you could have done. I know that now. You can’t change  history.”

“I’m sorry Kirsteen.” Lindsey said as she put her book down. “I haven’t even thought about what visiting the Abyss must have done to you. To finally learn that you might never see your home again.”

“Its okay. As strange as it is I’ve made peace with it in a way. There wasn’t much for me back there. All my supposed friends had abandoned me, my family were long gone. It wasn’t much of a life if I’m honest. Though right now there doesn’t seem to be anywhere I can go.”

“Maybe this is the best place for you after all then. I was actually in a similar position to you when I first joined. I’d lost the people I cared about and didn’t really have anything waiting for me back home either, but I had the Professor for support.” She continued. “I’m sorry I’ve been so self pitying this entire time. Like it or not we are sent on these missions by a reason and the only way we can get through them is we support each other.”

The Professor waited patiently by the teleportation chamber, dressed in his long flowing  black cape and red frock coat. The Professor underneath his somewhat cold, hard exterior was deeply worried about Lindsey. In many ways the old Vampire viewed Lindsey as the daughter he never had. He didn’t contrary to what she thought dislike Kirsteen. He was just a little unsure of whether or not she would ever fit in. She was his first companion who had been forced on him by the time vortex himself. He also hadn’t been eager for another companion after what had happened with Hilioma.

Unlike Lindsey, the Professor carried no guilt over what happened to Hilioma however. He had made it clear to her not change history, yet she arrogantly had done so and had run the risk of condeming the Professor and Lindsey to the Abyss too. The Professor was still sorry for Hilioma, but he didn’t let it trouble him. He was more concerned with what meeting their former companion again had done to Lindsey.

“Lindsey, Kirsteen what took you so long.” The Professor said in an awkward, jovial mood. Lindsey however wasn’t really in the mood for his usual humour and spoke straightly with the Professor.

“Kirsteen tells me we’ve arrived back on earth.”

“Eh yes, China I believe. It’ll be good to go back to the motherland. I don’t think I’ve visited home in over 100 years.”

The trio teleported down to a large forest. Just a few miles up ahead they could see a large castle looming over a large city, whilst a large river flowed next to them, straight into the centre of the city. It was bright daylight, but there didn’t seem to be anyone around.

Lindsey started taking pictures of the beautiful countryside on her phone.

“I’ve always wanted to go to China.” Lindsey said as she snapped as many pics as she could.

“Come on the city is where we’re needed.” The Professor said.

“How do you know?”Kirsteen asked. “How do you know that what we’re doing is the right course of action for history.”

“Instinct my dear. Thanks to advanced magics I can sense when events are supposed to come together and when we’re on the right path and when we’re not. The city is where we need to go.”

As the three time travellers wandered through the woods, little did they know they had been spotted by a hunter who had seen them arrive in a ball of blue light.

“Wizards, there have been so many of them in the last few weeks. All trying to fix the Emperor.” The hunter thought to himself. “The Empress has bled the kingdom dry paying for these charlatans. This one seems to be the real deal though.”

“Bring me the Emperor now” The Wizard said as he hoisted several villagers into the air with his magic.

“Please I beg you don’t harm my boy.” The mother of one of the villagers the Wizard was holding hostage cried.

“I don’t want to harm anyone, but you have no idea what the Emperor will become. If he is not dealt with now, we’ll all be in danger. If he really cares about his own people then he will show himself now.”

The Emperor would have been more than happy to sacrifice himself, but sadly there  was no way the Empress would let him, even if he could. This was not the only Wizard to try and kill the Emperor in the last few weeks. Dozens of Wizards had been brought forth from various kingdoms to try and cure the Emperor, who was beloved by not only his own kingdom, but by those around him for leading the battle against the regenegade kingdom of Hissain. It was during the final battle against Hissain however that the Emperor had become infected by the evil that now threatened to claim his life.

Initially many of the most powerful Wizards and magic users from the various kingdoms were only too happy to help the Emperor (though various charlatans would also come along, claiming to have a cure.) A few who had examined him however, had subsequently attempted to slay the Emperor. They were ultimately always repelled by the other Wizards who remained loyal to the Emperor.

This Wizard however, Lee Sian Ye, had actually fought with the Emperor during the battle against the Hissain’s and had known him for many years, yet he had been the most determined to slay the Emperor from the start. He had actually tried to kill the Emperor the night he had returned home. Ye had only been imprisoned instead of being executed, due his role in defeating the Hissians.

“Tell the empress if she does not bring her husband down here in ten minutes, I will kill every single one of my prisoners.” The Wizards magics started to tighten around all 10 of the villagers he was holding in the air until they started to choke.”

“Do you hear me! How many people will you sacrifice for your husband who is already damned!”

The Professor, Lindsey and Kirsteen reached the gates of the city.

“Ah yes.” The Professor said to the two guards, struggling to think of a reason to let them in.”

“We are humble travellers here to do some business, if you don’t mind.”

“The only people the Emperor is interested in seeing are magic folk” One of the guards said. “If you don’t have any magic please leave.”

The Professors face light up. “You’re in luck.” He said as conjured up a quick energy ball in his hand. It was the most basic magic, nothing but a glorified party trick, but it was enough to get them in.

Once inside the Kingdom, the Professor could see several people floating in the distance.

“Looks like we found what we came for.”

The trio quickly ran towards the square where the Wizard was holding the prisoners hostage. Various guards had attempted to shoot the Wizard with arrows, but he had managed to turn them all back on them and kill them all.

As soon as the Professor arrived in the square the Wizard could sense his presence.

“What are you”. The Wizard said in an almost frightened tone.

“I could say the same to you” The Professor joked.

The Wizard dropped his prisoners and focused solely on the Professor. He fired an energy blast at the Professor, which the Vampire was quickly able to dodge. The Professor then leaped at the Wizard, only to be blasted backwards into a nearby house. Whilst Lindsey and Kirsteen tried to help the prisoners escape, the Wizard started to choke them both with his dark magics.

“Servants of evil, you shall die alongside your inhuman master.”

To Be Continued

Doctor Who Vs Scratchman: Part 2

Image result for tim curry clueImage result for bruce campbell

 

                             Based on a story by Tom Baker and Ian Marter

 

“I don’t know why we bothered to come down here.” Yarox said.

“The Doctor said he needed our help to build the machine and for the last few minutes he’s shooed us away every time we get near it.”

“I just didn’t want you to feel left out.” The Doctor said as he tinkered away.

“You just want an audience more like” Elena said with a smile.

Suddenly the Tardis began to groan.

“What’s going on?” The Doctor said with concern.

“How do you expect me to know?” Yarox replied.

“The TARDIS is taking off.” The Doctor said as he burst down the corridors to the main console room with his new weapon in hand.

On the scanner outside the Doctor could see that they had been teleported to an entirely different location. It looked like the top of a mountain and there were over 50 Scarecrows gathered below a gigantic red cloud. There was also at least 20 people tied up to large wooden beams beneath the cloud at the very edge of the mountain top. The human prisoners all looked beaten and bloodied.

“We don’t have time to wait for me to perfect this machine. Whatever they’re doing now they have to be stopped.” The Doctor said as he opened the TARDIS doors. The little girl hugged Elena in fear, begging them not make her go outside. Elena tried to reassure her.

“Don’t worry the Doctor knows what he’s doing, I think.” Elena said to the girl. “Tell me what’s your name.

“Sophie”

“Don’t worry Sophie, I promise we’ll find your parents and stop whatever’s behind this horror.” Elena had no idea how she was going to keep that promise,  but she couldn’t bare to see the little girl cry another second.

The Doctor ran out into the field of Scarecrow’s pointing his machine like a weapon.

“He has arrived, the one the Master told us about.”

“Yes well if you know who I am, you’ll know that I have a knack for improvisation. This machine which I cobbled together in just a few minutes.” The Doctor said boastfully. “Can send you back to the hell you came from, unless you release the prisoners.”

The Scarecrow’s paused for a few seconds. The Doctor had no idea if his weapon would actually work. He hadn’t had time to either test it out, or even charge it for as long as he had wanted.

One of the Scarecrows’ responded by slicing the neck of a young male prisoner open. He couldn’t have been older than 14 years old. As the boy bled to death the red cloud began to grow larger and darker.

The Doctor knowing he couldn’t take any more chances fired his weapon. The Scarecrow’s all clutched the sides of their heads and sank to their knees.

“Its working come on.” The Doctor said as he ran frantically to untie the prisoners. The red sky became more erratic meanwhile. Lightening bolts began to fire from the mass, with one just narrowly missing the Doctor.

“You’re too late” One of the Demonic Scarecrow’s shouted. The mass of flames soon began to form into a flaming humanoid with horns who then began to descend on the Doctor.

The Doctor fired his weapon at the flaming monster which caused it to place its hands at either side of its head and scream.

The Demon swirled through the air, until it became a mere mass of flames. Just as the flames seemed to disipate however, a large bolt of fire came shooting out of the mass and struck the Doctors machine. It didn’t destroy it completely, but the machine was still thrown out of the Doctors hands and shut itself down.

The Doctor ran for his weapon, but more bolts of fire began to strike the machine. Fortunately it was made of an extremely durable metal and the flames did little to damage it.

The flaming mass then tried to strike at the Doctor instead who narrowly managed to avoid the beams.

Yarox and Elena meanwhile were busy untying the prisoners. Yarox was a little shocked at the sight of them at first. Never had he seen so many different looking people gathered together before. Sophie recognised one of the prisoners at the very edge of group as her mother and ran to embrace her.

“Sophie thank god you’re alive.”

“Where’s father?” Sophie said, but her mother couldn’t answer.

“No, please don’t.”

“I’m sorry Sophie they, they tore him apart.”

Elena who overheard the conversation looked over the cliff edge the prisoners were placed near. At the bottom of the cliff were the mangled remains and body parts of the fromer prisoners were kept. Hundreds of them had been slaugthered by the Demons.

Whilst Yarox, Elena and Sophie were distracted, the Scarecrow’s began to rise up again. The Doctor shouted to his companions, but it was no use. Within a few seconds the monsters were as strong as they ever were again, and overpowered Elena and Yarox, effortlessly.

The mass of flames spoke. “You’re trapped Time Lord. We don’t need you alive. We only need your vessel. It would be easier if you did help us, but you will die if you dare to defy the Master any longer.”

“Well” The Doctor said as dropped his weapon and clutched his lapels. “I’m not to proud to admit when I’m beat.”

The Doctor reached into his pocket. “WHAT TRICKERY IS THIS!” The flames screeched as it grew darker.

“Its just a cigarette. Would begrudge me a last request before you take me to hell?” The Doctor said as he put it into his mouth.

“I quite smoking for over  11 centuries you know, but well I’m on my 10th life now so I thought why not. You don’t mind do you? Of course not you’re made of fire.”

The Doctor reached into his pocket again and quickly pulled out his sonic screwdriver this time. Before any of the monsters could react the Doctor used his screwdriver to activate his machine from a distance, incapacitating the Demons a second time.

Whilst Yarox and Elena continued to free the prisoners, including Sophie’s mother, the Doctor headed for his weapon. When he tried to grab it however he burned his hands off of the metal. The Doctor pulled a long cloth out of his pocket, almost bigger than the pocket itself and wrapped it around the machine before hoisting it up into the air. As he tried to fire it again however, the machine’s power began to run down.

The mass of flames meanwhile began to form back into its humanoid shape despite the Doctors efforts. The Doctor however was able to ring the last bit of power out of his machine long enough for Yarox and Elena to get the 20 or so prisoners free, who they rounded up back to the TARDIS. They had to push the first few prisoners into the TARDIS as none of them were willing to go into a tiny blue box! The Doctor covered them all, using his weapon to blast several of the Scarecrow’s back, and as a shield to block the flaming demons bolts of fire.

Once they were safely in the TARDIS, the Doctor tried to take off, but the flaming Demon enveloped the outside of the TARDIS. The TARDIS from the outside looked like it was made entirely of fire!

The Doctor tried to take off, but the entire console room simply shook violently instead. Two small parts of the console even exploded.

“You will help the Master. You will free him from the pit.”  The voice boomed whilst the Cloister bell rang non stop.

The Doctor in desperation wired his weapon to the TARDIS console to power it up again. The Doctor fired the weapon with a range that covered the entire area, but the flaming Demon held on tight. Its screams echoed through the TARDIS, and as its grip around the time machine got stronger, the white walls of the TARDIS began to turn bright red. Blood began to drip from the roundrels which terrified the prisoners who huddled together helplessly. Even Yarox and Elena were beginning to get more visibly frightened. (Which was very unlike Elena.)

“Cheap parlor tricks” The Doctor shouted as he drew more energy into the weapon. “I’d be embarassed if I were you, a Demon from hell and that’s all you can muster up.” Suddenly the roundrels in the TARDIS became transparant and faces began to appear within them. The faces were of men and women, even children. They all looked burned, and mutilated beyond all recognition. The one nearest to Elena, a young boy was missing his eyes, whilst his lips were burned into a hideous grin. She couldn’t stand to look at it.

The damned souls faces started to move out of the roundrels and scream at the prisoners. As Elena, Yarox and the prisoners all backed away from the faces, several rotting arms started to appear out of the TARDIS floor. They tried to pull everyone to the floor. As the Doctor tried to struggle free, he looked up and saw the ceiling of the TARDIS had turned into nothing but fire. The fire slowly began to form into a Demonic face that began to laugh at the Doctor.

“The legendary Time Lord, has such a feeble mind and will. Our master will break you easily.” The face said before bursting into a fit of diabolical laughter.

The Doctor using all his strength managed to pull free from the arms and fired more energy into the weapon. He was worried that if he tampered with the TARDIS core much longer then it would be in danger of exploding, which could consume the entire planet in a time storm! Still the Doctor pressed on as he had no choice. Eventually there was a small explosion within his machine followed by the flaming face screaming in agony. A few seconds afterwards the flames around the TARDIS vanished completely, and the inside of the TARDIS returned to normal.

The Doctor looked on the scanner outside to see the Scarecrow’s had been felled by the machine as well.

When he turned to his weapon however the Doctor saw that it had been completely burnt out.

“Damn the energy from the TARDIS’ core was too much, I just hope it wasn’t too rough on you old girl.” The Doctor said as he tapped the TARDIS console.

“What is this place.” Sophie’s mother said as she cradled her crying child.

“It’s a time and space machine. I’m the Doctor, I’m from the planet Gallifrey and this is Yarox and Elena, they’re both from your future. And if you find that too fanciful, well remember that I just saved you from the Devil.”

“Doctor, please she just lost her husband.” Elena said.

“Right, right I’m sorry for your loss Mrs?”

“Tulloch.”

“I’m sorry what happened to you, to all of you. I wish we could have arrived sooner, but that lot at least looks taken care of for now.”  The Doctor said more gently as he adjusted the TARDIS controls.

“Those monsters”. One of the men at the back interrupted. He was old and withered looking, and covered in scratches and bruises.

“They ripped us from our homes, tortured us,  and started to slaughter us as part of a ritual to bring that, thing into the world.”

“Doctor what was that creature, was it really what it said.”  Elena said noticably more scared than she usually was in these kinds of situations. She wasn’t a religious woman at all, and deep down she knew there was probably a rational explanation for these creatures. Still Elena couldn’t help but think back to how many other incredible things she had seen on her journey’s with the Doctor, that she would have undoubtedly dismissed before.

“No of course not. It’s a creature from another universe. Its just relying on superstition to scare us.” The Doctor said.

“What does scare me is that it knew who I was. It wanted me, or rather this ship for something. I don’t know what, but I can’t help but feel we should leave here at once.”

“We can’t.” Elena said. “If we hadn’t done anything then these people would all be dead right now.”

“I know, I know Elena, but that thing also wanted the TARDIS and for all my bluster well.”

“What?”

“It almost took control of it.”

“How is that possible?”

“I don’t know, but it was. Those weren’t parlor tricks. That creature was attempting in its last few moments in this reality to pull the TARDIS back into its realm. We saw those face because our ship briefly merged with the creatures home reality, but fortunately when its link with our world broke, we were sent back.”

“You mean those faces were real?” Elena said with horror.

“I’m afraid so. Also whilst we may have sent those creatures packing, according to the sensors there is another dimensional breach on the other side of the island. More monsters will be coming through”

“We have to get there now.” Elena said.

“Do we? Or is that what it wants. If we go there, will it just use the TARDIS to rip a bigger hole in reality.”

“If there are people on the other side of the island in the same position as they were, how can we leave them.” Elena said. “Besides even if it is a trap, we’ll think of a way out. We always do.”

She expected the Doctor to respond in his usual chipper tone, but instead she was met with a concerned look. The Doctor was always such a fun, boistrous figure even in the face of death that it was quite alarming for Elena to see him take things so seriously.

“I just hope you’re right” The Doctor said to Elena as he adjusted the controls to take the TARDIS to where the other dimensional breach was.

On the scanner the Doctor could see an old church just ahead.

“Its Liage, the main town on the island. It was the last place to fall to those monsters.”One of the villagers said at the back.

“They came bursting out of the ground. Our village was protected, or so we thought by a large wall. It had been built centuries ago to protect us from Viking invaders. It had become a tourist attraction, but we thought it could hold the scarecrow’s out, until.”

He couldn’t go on any longer.

Whilst Elena comforted the man, who had massive claw marks down his face. The Doctor tinkered with parts from his burnt out weapon.

“What are you doing?” Yarox asked.

“Oh its simple. I won’t have the time fix up another weapon, but with a few bits and pieces of equipment here I might be able to disrupt one of the Scarecrow’s in a different way. They’re just projections into this reality remember. All I need do is disrupt the signal, but this time I’m going to interfere with it. Use it to create a force field around the Scarecrow that will trap it, allow me to control it.”

“You can really do that?”

“Of course! Well….. maybe. Actually it probably won’t work, but still I have to try. If we can get control of one Scarecrow then I can figure out what’s going on around here, who’s pulling their strings, what they want. Scratchman indeed!” The Doctor scoffed.

After putting the gadget together, the Doctor told Elena to stay in the TARDIS and watch over the villagers.

“What? I always go with you. You can’t leave me out now.”

“I’m sorry Elena, but well for once I don’t think the TARDIS will be enough to protect everyone here from what’s outside. I need someone I can trust to look after these people. No offence Yarox but we have just met, and no offence to you old girl.” The Doctor said to the TARDIS console.

“You’re right I suppose.” Elena said somewhat resentfully. “Though be honest you just don’t like a lot of strangers in your TARDIS while your out.”

“Well obviously, but I’m serious Elena. I can’t guarantee that nothing will get in. That Demon managed to rip through the defences of the ship and nearly dragged it to whatever pit it came from. Be carefule. I’d love to just take these people somewhere safe, but you know how unpredictable the TARDIS can be. Again no offence old girl. We could end up on Mars in the year 2525. Please look after them.”

“You have my word.”

“Right come Yarox its time we were off.”

Yarox wasn’t too keen on the arrangement either. Though he wouldn’t admit it, he was absolutely terrified of the Scarecrows and would much rather be the one who was sitting back in the TARDIS. Fear was a new sensation for Yarox in some ways. Back where he came from he was always told that his life was meaningless. He was just a clone after all, and no individual life mattered. All that mattered was the survival of the race, but now in even just the short time he had been with the Doctor and Elena, he had come to enjoy his own life.

After they left the TARDIS, Yarox said, somewhat nervously to the Doctor as they approached the church. “You know maybe it would be better if Elena came with you. You know her better, she has more experience.”

“Now Yarox its fine to be afraid.” The Doctor said.

“Even after all these years and 9 deaths, some of which really, really, really hurt, I’m still scared of every time I step onto a new planet. Still we can’t let it overwhelm us my boy. That’s what our enemies want. For us to be too scared to lift a finger against them.”

The Doctor saw the door to the church was left open slightly, which wasn’t a good sign. He slowly nudged the door open, only to be overcome with the sight ahead of him.

The church was filled with bits and pieces of mangled bodies of men, women and even children. The body of a priest meanwhile was nailed to a the large cross at the back of the room. His guts had also been ripped out and spread on the altar below. The walls were literally dripping with blood.

“What.” Yarox could barely even bring himself to speak.

“Its a house of god, a Church. The monsters whatever they were wanted to desecrate it. But why? If they are aliens, why should they care about a human belief system?”

Suddenly the two time travellers were alerted by the moans of dozens more Scarecrows emerging from the woods behind the church. The Demons gathered around the TARDIS and started to corner the Doctor and Yarox against the church. There was no way they could fight through them, so the only way forward was for the Doctor and Yarox to run through the Church.

As they ran across the blood stained floor however the Doctor slipped on the blood and dropped his gadget. It slid along the floor undet the mangled corpse of an old woman.

Yarox helped the Doctor up. He wasn’t hurt, but he was furious that his fine suit was ruined.

“I’m going to have throw this out!” The Doctor said in disgust. “Yarox can you be a dear and eh get my little gadget”. The Doctor didn’t want to touch the corpse. Yarox didn’t either, but he was less fussy than the Doctor. (He was arguably more used to gruesome sights than even the Time Lord.)

As Yarox reached under the body, the Scarecrow’s advanced on them. The Doctor picked up a nearby chair and waved it at the Scarecrow’s, but in the process the Doctor slipped on the bloody floor again and landed on his back.

The Scarecrow’s just laughed at the Doctor.

“Glad I could amuse you all in my humble little way.” The Doctor said. He then reached into his pocked and pulled out a few tennis balls and started to juggle them. Some of the Scarecrow’s started to giggle.

“I’ve had thousands of years to practice, but even with that in mind I’m still a natural.” The Doctor then three the tennis balls at the Scarecrow’s before picking up a nearby chair that he then threw out into a huge Stain glass window at the back of the room.

The Doctor and Yarox (who had managed to find the gadget while the Demons were distracted)  quickly ran out of the window. (Though the Doctor nearly slipped again!)

Outside of the window was a graveyard. In the distance, the Doctor and Yarox could see a scarecrow digging a grave. It noticed the two time travellers and smiled, with is firey grin. They didn’t have time to worry about it now as several more of the Scarecrow’s started to crawl through the broken window behind them.

The Doctor and Yarox ran out of the grave yard and into the village behind. It was completely deserted. All of the windows in the buildings had been smashed, the doors were also kicked in, and there bodies littering the streets.

The Doctor and Yarox quickly took refuge behind a nearby alley. They watched as the horde of Scarecrow’s ran past, screaming bloody murder.

After a few minutes the Doctor felt it was safe.

“We need to try and isolate one of them from the rest of the group.” The Doctor said to Yarox.

“Quick hand me the gadget.”

Yarox obliged but the gadget was covered in blood.

“Oh god you could have wiped it first.” The Doctor said.

Back at the TARDIS, several Scarecrow’s kept clawing at the door.

Inside the villagers were getting frantic at the sight of the monsters, but there was little she could do to reassure them.

Many of the villagers were somewhat scared of Elena herself. They were all unnerved to some extent by her large single eye.

Elena was used to it. Even in her home time, the 31st century, she much like her mother tended to stick out in a crowd.

“Look don’t worry those doors have withstood horders of Cybermen trying to smash their way through I’m sure.”

Elena was quickly interrupted by the cloister bell.

“Oh dear” she said to herself. The TARDIS doors suddenly opened. Elena tried to close them. (During the many years she had been with the Doctor, he had taught how to operate certain parts of the TARDIS, though he could never teach her, or indeed any non Time Lord how to operate it properly.)

She tried again and again to shut the doors, but it didn’t work and the Scarecrow’s soon entered the TARDIS, smiling with sadistic delight at their cornered prey.

To Be Continued